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University of California.
AT THE OPENING OF
Ware, Mass, March 31, 1847,
SKETCHES OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF THAT TOW, AND j'^^
ITS FIRST SETTLERS.
BY WILLIAM HYDE
PUBLISHED AT THE REQUEST OF THE TOWN.
MERRIAM AND COOKE, PRINTERS.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2008 with funding from
AT THE OPENING OF THE
Ware, Mass. March 31, 1847.
SKETCHES OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF THAT TOWN, AND
ITS FIRST SETTLERS.
BY WILLIAM HYDE
PUBLISHED AT THE ,J,&QJJLS^T OF THE TOWN.
MERRIAM AND COOKE, PRINTERS.
It was not expected, that the request for an address, would have led tff
the result here shewn; and had the labor required been anticipated, it
would have been declined. The pressure of other cares would have ex-
cused from the attempt. But having commenced and become interested in
the pursuit, there seemed to be no alternative but to find the truth, and to
prove it by record evidence. Tradition was found a very unsafe guide, and
the principal internist in the following pages will be the copies from original
papers found among the archives of the commonwealth in the Secretary's
Office, and from the records of the original proprietors of Hardwick and of
Palmer, and from the Registry of Deeds at Springfield. These are inserted
in their proper connexion, rather than in an appendix. Hon. Joseph Cum-
mings has furnished much valuable information with regard to the bounda-
ries of the ancient grants, and the earliest settlers. The true history of the
Equivalent Lands, after much research, was found in Trumbull's History
of Connecticut. For some facts in the Ecclesiastical History, credit is due
to a sermon preached by Rev. A. B, Reed, Thanksgiving, 1830.
It is a matter for mutual congratulation, that we are per-
mitted to assemble this day in this commodious Hall. That
the town has undertaken and completed so convenient a
building for the transaction of public business, with a room
for the accommodation of a Grammar School, and offices
for the Selectmen and Assessors, evinces, under our pecu-
liar circumstances, a spirit of liberality in the inhabitants, in
which we may well rejoice.
In consequence of the rise of a flourishing village upon
the eastern border of the town, the centre of business and
of population had become so much changed, it seemed but
an act of simple justice that the Town Hall should be locat-
ed so as to accommodate the great majority of the voters.
It is an unpleasant matter to disturb existing relations. An
ancient centre is a spot about which we are drawn by the
attachments of youth, and the force of habit. But the times
change, and the busy habits of our New England population
force us to change with them, and though the erection of
this building on this place may prove inconvenient to a few
of the inhabitants, it cannot fail to promote the convenience
and comfort of the majority.
It has been thought that the opening of this Hall was a
fit occasion for sotne historical account of the town. In
complying with the request of the building committee to pre-
pare something of the kind, I did not anticipate the labor it
would cost me. My place would more properly have been
filled by some native of the town, and there are those more
capable than I can be expected to be, to give an interesting
relation of the early settlements. And what I have done,
has been in the fragments of time, stolen froin severer duties.
In my inquiries, I have endeavored to trace the early
grants of the territory to their true origin. I had written
the introductory chapter of the history, relying on the com-
monly received traditions, which were supposed to be cor-
rect by the older inhabitants, were put forth as true in a his-
torical sermon, by the Rev. Mr. Read, preached Thanks-
4 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
giving'day, 1830, and were afterwards incorporated into Bar-
ber's Historical Collections of Massachusetts. In searching
for the confirmation of that story, I became convinced it was
entirely wrong, and am at a loss to account for the tradition.
The story in Barber's History is, that the principal part of
Ware was a tract of 10,000 acres, granted to the soldiers
in the Narragansett war, — that they viewed the lands of little
value, and afterwards sold them to John Reed, Esq. of
Boston, for two coppers per acre.*
The true history of the 10,000 acre tract is this. The
first settlements in the western part of INlassachusetts, were
made at Springfield, in 1636, which in process of time, em-
braced Snffield, Enfield, and Somers within its bounds.
Those towns, as well as Woodstock, were settled from Mas-
sachusetts, and were under her jurisdiction. The charier of
Connecticut, granted by Robert, Earl of Warwick, in the
reign of King Charles, in 1631, conveyed " all that part
of New England in America, which lies and extends itself
from a river there called the Narragansett River, the space
of forty leagues upon a straight line near the sea shore to-
wards the southwest, west and by south or west, as
the coast lieth towards Virginia, all the breadth afore-
said, throughout the main lands there, from the Wes-
tern Ocean, to the South Sea." When the line was
run by Connecticut, it took in the towns above nam-
ed. Massachusetts declined giving them up. A long con-
troversy ensued, which lasted sixty-six years. In 1713,
an agreement was made between the colonies, that the line
should be run according to the charter. Massachusetts
should retain jurisdiction over the towns settled by her, and
should grant as an equivalent as many acres of unimproved
land to Connecticut.
* I find a deed on record at Springfield, Sept. 10, 1740, from John
Read to Thomas Read, of " one full half right or share in a tov/nship
lately granted by the Great and General Court of the Province to the
.officers and soldiers which was formerly in ye Fight with the Indian En-
emy at the falls on Connecticut River, commonly called the Falls
Fight, which township lyeth near or adjoining to Deerfield in ye
.■county of Hampshire, of which Fight my honored Father, Thom-
as Read, deceased was then and there one of the soldiers." The
township here referred to is Bernardslon, and the fight, the battle at
Turner's Falls, during Phillip's War, in 1G7G. It may have been con-
founded with the tract in Ware, owned by Mr. Read, who was a law-
yer of some eminence in Boston, and owned other large tracts of land.
There is a deed on record at Springfield, of 23,040 acres on the south-
erly side of Deerfield, made by agents of the town of Boston to him.
Tcmplelon and Westminster were Narragansett towns.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 6
On running the line, it was found at Connecticut River to
run ninety rods north of the north-east bounds of Suffield,
and that Massachusetts had encroached upon Connecticut,
107,793 acres. Slie made a grant of that quantity of land
to Connecticut, which was accepted as an equivalent. Tliis
tract included Belchertown, Pelham, part of Enfield, and
the 10,000 acres in Ware. The whole was sold soon after
in 1716, in sixteen shares, for the sum of j£683, New Eng-
land currency, which was a little more than a farthing per
acre. The money went into the funds of Yale College.*
The towns of Suffield, Enfield, Somers and Woodstock,
continued in Massachusetts till 1747, when they were taken
Among the purchasers of the Equivalent lands, were Gov.
Belcher and John Read, Esq., of Boston. Nathan Gould,
Esq., the deputy-governor of Connecticut, and Peter Burr,
Esq., one of the assistant judges.
In proof that I am right, I find a deed of mortgage on
the records at Springfield, from John Read Dec. 12, 1722,
" Of all that my Ten Thousand acres of land, being near
Brookfield, in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, be-
ing that two sixteenth parts of the lands commonly called
the Equivalent Lands, which in the late division of the
Equivalent Lands, fell to the Hon. Nathan Gould and Pe-
ter Burr, Esq. and to the said John Read." It was known
afterwards, as "the Manor of Peace," as being a peace
offering to Connecticut.
The south-east corner of the Read tract was near where
the barn of Samuel Gould now stands, thence the line run
due north to Hardvvick line, passing west of Muddy Brook,
and near Isaac Osborn's, thence west to Swift River, and
south by the river to Palmer or the " Elbows," as it was
then called, from the angles made by the branches of the
Chicopee River. The South line was a continuation of
the South line of Belchertown, bearing E. by N. This
tract covered all the western portion of the town. The
tract west of Swift River was called Cold Spring, and
went into the hands of Gov. Belcher, and when incorporat-
ed, called Belchertown.
The eastern part of the town was included in a pur-
* Trambull's History of Connecticut, vol. 1, page 446. The cur-
rency of Connecticut was in bills of credit, which, by a law of the col-
ony, passed for twenty shillings in value, equal to silver at eight shil-
lings per ounce, Troy weight sterling, in all payments at the treasury.
Trumbull, vol. 2, p. 49.
6 mSTORICAL ADDRESS.
chase made of the Indian proprietors Dec. 27, 1686.
" John Magus, Lawrence Nassowanno, attorneys to Ano-
gomok, Sachem of the tract of land called Won)beme-
sisecook, James and Simon, sons and heirs of Black
James, Sachem of the Nipmug country, for divers good
causes and considerations, especially for and in consid-
eration of the sum of twenty pounds current money of New
England," conveyed to " Joshua Lamb, Nathaniel Paige,
Andrew Gardner, Benjamin Gamblin, Benjamin Tucker,
John Curtis, Richard Draper, and Samuel Ruggles of Rox-
bury, Mass. a certain tract or parcel of land, containing by
estimation twelve miles long, north and south, and eight
miles wide, east and west, situate, lying and being near Qua-
baug, commonly known by the name of Wombemesisecook,
being butted and bounded southerly upon the land that Jo-
seph Dudley Esq. lately purchased of the Indians, Easterly
the southernmost corner upon a pond called Sasagookapaug,
and so by a brook that runneth into said pond, and so up
Northerly unto a place called Ueques, and so still Northerly
until it meets with a River called Nenameseck, and Wester-
ly by the River until it comes against Quaboge bounds, and
joins unto their bounds, or however otherwise butted and
It would be difficult now to trace these lines, except the
one formed by Ware River, which it appears was called by
the Indians " Nenameseck." It appears from the proprie-
tors' records, where the deed is recorded, that they claimed
the land from Rutland, now Barre, on the north, to the
Quabaug River, in Warren, covering Hardwick, parts of
Ware, Palmer, and Brookfield, and that part of Warren
north of the River. South of the Quabaug belonged to
Brimfield. The same proprietors bought about the same
time of the Indians, the tract now forming the towns of Lei-
cester and Spencer.
The first attempts made to survey and lay out the lands
was in 1727, at which time only two of the original proprie-
tors were living, when they petitioned the Legislature to
confirm the territory to them, which was refused. In 1728,
a committee, one of whom was the Rev. Timothy Ruggles
of Rochester, son of one of the purchasers, and father of
the afterwards famous Brigadier Ruggles, was chosen to lay
out a town six miles square within their claim, but it was not
until 1732, that the Legislature confirmed to Joshua Lan)b
and others, the tract of six miles square, then called Lambs-
town, and which was afterwards incorporated as the town
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 7
As early as 1727, settlements were made in what is now
Palmer, under grants or permits from the proprietors of
Lambstown, by a colony of emigrants from the north of
Ireland, among whom were Isaac Magoon and James Brak-
enridge. The government did not admit their right, and in
1732, they petitioned as follows: —
" To His Excellency, Jonathan Belcher Esq., Captain General and
Governor in chief in and over his Majesties Province of the Massachu-
setts Bay in New England, The Honorable His Majesties Council,
and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, May 31,
The petition of the subscribers dwelling and residing on a tract and
parcel of land lying and situate between Springfield and Brookfield,
Briinfield and the land called the Equivalent land and Cold Spring,
Humbly Sheweth —
That they ai 3 sensible the said land belongs to the said Province,
yet the reason why your petitioners entered on the said land was as
follows. Some from the encouragement of Joshua Lamb, Esq. and
Company, that the said land belonged to them, and that they would
give to such of your petitioners as entered thereon under them a good
right and title to such a part thereof as they respectively contracted for.
Yet notwithstanding your petitioners are now sensible that the said Lamb
& Co. have no right to the said land, and that the same will prove great-
ly to your petitioners damage — that as to such as hold under them with-
out relieved by your Excellency and Honors — and that others of your
petitioners entered on from necessity, not having v/herewith of their
own to provide. Yet nevertheless your petitioners are duly sensible
that they deserve your discountenance. But confiding in the reasons
offered, they humbly request your compassionate consideration — that
they may be put under such regulation as may have a tendency to pro-
mote the flourishing of religion, &c.
Therefore your petitioners most humbly pray, that your Excellency
and Honors would take the premises into your wise consideration, and
either grant them the said tract of land or put them under such restric-
tions and regulations as in your consummate wisdom shall be thought
most reasonable, and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.
Isaac Magoon, Jr.
Joseph Wright, Jr.
Robert Nevins. 12 other names not to be seaH.
8 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
In the House of Representatives, Nov. 24, 1732. In answer to thus
petition, vorted, that Col. Alden and Jas. Bradford, with such others as
the Honorable Board shall appoint, be a committee to repair to the land
petitioned for, carefully to view the situation and circumstances thereof
as well those of the petitioners, and also the quantity and quality of the
said land and to report their opinion at the next May session, what may
be proper for the court to do thereon, and that the petition be refened
accordingly. Sent up for concurrence. J. Quincy, Speaker.
In Council, Nov. 27, 1732. Read and concurred. Ebenezer Buzzell
Esq. joined io the affair. J. Willard, Sec'y.
Consented to. J, Belcher.
The Committee appointed by the General Court at their session in
Nov, last to repair to the land petitioned for by James Dorchester and
sundry others — Having in pursuance of the vote of said Court repaired
to said lands, and carefully viewed the inhabitants thereof as well as
these of the petitioners, and also the quantity and quality of said lands,
do report our opinion thereon, as follows, viz.
We find the land petitioned for to be a tract of land commonly called
the Elbow tract, lying near Springfield and the Equivalent Lands, con-
taining 17,014 acres, (viz. contents of five miles square, and 1014 acres,
over) exclusive of particular grants taken up and laid out within the
same, bounded and included within the lines and boundaries of the adja-
cent land as hereafter laid down, viz. Easterly in part upon the west line
of Brookfield township, from the N. West comer the said line runs So. 2
deg. West to the river, called Quabog alias Chicopee liver, thence bound-
ing on Brimfield township, as the said river runs, easterly in pait and
southerly, and in part westerly so far down said river, as to where the
south end line of a tract of Equivalent land called Cold Spring town-
ship crosses or skirts the said River, thence bounding Northerly on the
said line as it keeps East by the Needle of the surveying instrument,
to the South East comer of said tract or township, which is the mouth
of Swift River, thence bounding Westerly in part on the said tract or
township of Equivalent land as the river runs to where the south line
of another tract of Equivalent land, containing 10,000 acres belonging-
to John Read Esq. strikes up or runs from said river — thence bounding
Northerly upon said line as it runs E. and by N. to the So. E. corner
of said tract, being a heap of stones by the root of a great red oak tree,,
fallen close by one on the west side of a run of water, about 18 rods
southerly of the river, called the Ware River — thence bounding Wes-
terly on the east line of said tract, as it runs North by the Needle,,
until an east line there will strike the N. E. corner tree of Brookfield^
as by a plan presented herewith appears.
We find the greatest part of said land to be a Pine land. High
hills and low vallies, the hills very poor and mean, the vallies pretty-
good. We also find that the said tract of land Ues in a broken form,
and is much discommoded by farms claimed by particular giants from
this court, which have taken up the best of the land. We also find
that the circumstances of the petitioners and settlers, are difficult and
much intricate and perplexed, some of them having entered and settled
without regulation, and interfered and encroached upon other men's titles
and improvements, and in many instances, two several settlers on th^
same spot, under diiferent pleas and pretences of right — some having
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 9
lately laid out, some partly laid out, and others only pitched, interfering
one with another as aforesaid. We would further inform this honora-
ble court that we have taken great pains and care to inspect and in-
quire into every particular instance relating to the said tract of land,
and find it needful to prevent further charge and difficulty — to report
particularly, viz. — That we find there are entered and settled and about
settling on the said tract of land the number of eighty persons the most
whereof are families and built houses, and made considerable improve-
ments, and are now and have been constantly for more than three
years supplied with a minister to preach the word of God unto
them, who has been supported by a free contribution. We also find
that about 48 of the above number were introduced and led on or en-
couraged to settle and make improvements by Joshua Lamb, Esq. &
Co. and their committee, who claimed the said tract of land by virtue
of an Indian purchase, and the rest of the number had actual contracts
with them for certain parcels thereof and received deeds of convey-
ance and orders from them for laying out of their lots, and have
had the most of them laid out accordingly. We are therefore humbly
of the opinion that the several persons and families hereafter named, that
were so admitted and settled under and by the said claimers, have their
several and respective lots hereafter confirmed to them, their heirs and
assigns in such proportions and under such restrictions and limitations
and considerations as follows and are hereafter mentioned, viz."
Then follow specific grants to eighty-five different per-
sons, among whom were Isaac Mngoon, and Isaac Magoon
Jr., the former was bounded north by the Read farm, near
the south east corner.
Other portions of the territory were to be apportioned
among part of the grantees according to certain rules. The
first grants being generally 100 acres each.
"And that all and each of the aforenamed Person or Grantee
Both first and last mentioned, (excepting the Rev'd Mr. John Harvey*)
do pay into the Public Treasury of this Province the sum of Five Hun-
dred Pounds within two years as also forthwith to Pay the further sum
of Sixty Seven Pounds, Eleven Shillings and Nine pence the charge
and Expense of this Committe on the affair. Each man or Grantee his
Equal part or Proportion of said sums according to the Quantity of his
Grant of first allotment, and if any of the aforenamed persons or Gran-
tees Either first or last mentioned Do not fulfill the aforesaid conditions
within the Term of time herein Limited, Their lots be forfeited and
other way Disposed of as this Court shall order. And that all Public
Charges arising for the future (Untill they be settled and Invested with
the powers and privileges of a Township), shall be raised upon their
several lots according to the Quantity of acres and that all such of the
aforesaid persons or Grantees as are Intitled to Draw after Rights and
* Rev. John Harvey was settled as the first minister of Palmer, in
1734. He was ordained by the Londonderry Presbytery. He was suc-
ceeded by the Rev. Robert Burns, in 1753. The (-hurch was Scotch
Presbyterian till the settlement of Rev. Simeon Colton, in 1811.
10 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
Divisions shall pay a Double Proportion to all such Charges according-
to the Quantity of the Grants or first lots. And that they the afore-
named Settlers and Grantees Do Erect and Build a Suitable House for
Public Worship, and settle a minister within two Years and that they
be allowed to Bring in a Bill for Erecting and setting themselves off a
This report was signed by Ebenezer Buzzell, and adopted.
From these documents, it appears that the southern part
of the town, and all east of the Read manor, as far north as
Brookfield line extends, was included in what was then
called the "Elbows."
Allusion is made in the report of the committee to for-
mer grants. The most ancient document I have found per-
taining to the history of Ware is the following petition, dat-
ed in 1673, thirteen years before the Indian deed to the pro-
prietors of Hardwick, which is copied from the original, in
the archives of the commonwealth, and with the grant and
the deed following it, the title of the territory of this village,
can be easily traced to the present proprietors.
" To the Honoured Governour, Deputie Governour, Magistrates and
Deputies now assembled and holding Generall Court in Boston.
The humble petition of Richard HoUinworth of Salem, most hum-
That your most humble petitioner's ffather came into this country
about forty yeares since, and brought a great ffamily with him, and a
good estate. And being the first builder of vessells, being a ship-car-
penter, was a great benefit to this counirey, and as great or greater
than any one in the infancie of the countrie of a private man as it is
fully knowne, yett gained not himselfe an estate, but spent his own
that he brought, and notwithstanding all his service and the largeness
of his family, being twelve in number, he never had more granted him
by the countrie but fortie one acres of upland, and not one acre
of meadow, and the land lying soe remote from the towne of Salem,
it proved little worth to him or his, and none of his children have ever
had anything but have lived by their labour with God's blessing, and
your petitioner hath used maretan employment, and through many
dangers and with much difficultie gotten a livelyhood for himselfe and
his family, and being brought very low by his loss by the Dutch take-
ing all from him, is constramed to apply himself unto yourselves,
whom God hath sett as iTathers of this Commonwealth.
And doth most humbly beseech you seriously to consider the prem-
ises, and if it may stand with your good likeing and charitie to grant
unto him a competent parcell of land that he may sitt downe upon with
his family, viz. his wife and six children, for he would leave the
seas had he any competencie of land whereby with his own in dus-
try and God's blessing he might mainetaine his family. And he shall
take it as a great favour. And as in duty bound, shall ever pray, &c."
" In answer to this petition, the Deputys judge meet to grauntthe pe-
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 1 1
titioner five hundred acres of land where he can find it free from any
former graunt, ye Honorable Magistrates consenting hereto.
8: 11: 1673. WILLIAM TORREY, Chairman.
Consented to by the Magistrates.
EDWARD RAWSON, Sec'ry.
Hollingsworlh never located the land granted by the Gen-
eral Court to him. His heirs afterwards sold the grant to
Samuel Prince of Rochester. June 14, 1715, it appears
by the records of the council, " a plot of 500 acres was
presented by Samuel Prince, lying on Ware River, survey-
ed by William Ward, being a grant of that quantity to
Richard Hollingsworth in 1673." "It was ordered that
the plat be confirmed as HoUingsworlh's grant, if that grant
has not been laid out before."
The plat and the order indorsed on the back of it cannot
be found. Very few papers of that kind between 1710 and
1730, are among the archives of the commonvvealtli, and it
is supposed they were destroyed when the State House was
burned in 1741.
Tradition has always connected with this grant an obliga-
tion to maintain mills at the falls, but the records disclose
no such condition. The following deed copied from the
Springfield Records will throw light on the earliest con-
"To all People unto whom this Present Deed of sale shall come,
Jonas Clarke of Boston, within the County of Suffolk in New Eng-
land, INIazier, Sendeth Greeting.
Know Ye, that I the said Jonas Clarke, for and in consideration of
the sum of Four hundred pounds to me in hand at and before the en-
seaUng and delivery hereof well and truly Paid by Jabez Olmsted of
Brookfield in the County of Hampshire* in New England aforesaid.
Husbandman, the Rec"t whereof I do hereby acknowledge, have given,
granted, bargained, sold, conveyed, and confirmed, and by these Pres-
ents do give, grant, bargain, sell, convey, and confirm unto the said
Jabez Olmsted, his heirs and assigns forever, all that my certain tract
or parcel of land situate, lying and being within the Province of the
Massachusetts bay, in the Road from Brookfield to Hadley, Containing
by estimation five hundred acres more or less, as the same is delineated
and decyphered in a Plan thereof on file among the Records of the
General Court or Assembly of this Province, which said land, upon
Wednesday, twenty-fifth day of May, was allowed and confirmed as
the Five hundred acres of land granted unto Richard Hollingsworth,
Anno. 1673, by the said General Court, and is the same land which
the said Hollingsworth's heirs sold lately unto Samuel Prince, late of
Rochester, Yeoman, who sold the same to Thomas Clarke of Boston
aforesaid. Merchant, of whom I purchased the same land, together with
all and singular the trees, woods, underwoods, profits, privileges, and
* Worcester county was not established till 1731.
12 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
appurtenances, to the said granted land belonging or in anywise apper-
taining, and the Reversion and remainders thereof." [Here follow the
tisual covenants of icarrantij.] " To Have and to Hold the said given
and granted land and premises with the appurtenances, unto the said Ja-
bez Olmsted his heirs and assigns forever, to his and their only proper
use, benefit and behoof from henceforth and forever."
" In witness whereof I, the said Jonas Clarke have hereunto set ray
hand and seal the second day of April, Anno Domini, one thousand
seven hundred and twenty-nine, and in the second year of the Reign of
our Sovereign Lord George the Second, King over Great Britain, &c.
Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of >
Moses Rice. Benjamin Rolfe. ) Jonas Clarke and seal.
Received the day and year above written, off the within named Ja-
bez Olmsted, the sum of four hundred pounds, being the consideration
money within expressed.
Suffolk, ss. Boston, April 2, 1729. The above named Jonas
Clarke personally appearing, acknowledged the above written instru-
ment to be his act and Deed
Before me, SAMUEL SEWALL, Jun., Just. Peace.
Received, April 24, 1732, and recorded from Original."
The south-east corner of this tract was near the north line
of Hon. Joseph Cummings' farm, on the side hill, above
Benjamin Eaton's. Thence the line ran north, taking in the
lower falls, and extending to the farm now owned by Joseph
Hartwell. Thence it ran west to the Read manor, and
south, on its east line, to ihe south west corner on the plain
west of muddy brook, between land of John Gould, and the
farm formerly owned by Dea. Enos Davis, covering nearly
the whole territory of what is now this village.*
Upon this tract, I suppose the first settlements in the
town were made. Capt. Jabez Olmstead came here from
Brookfield, probably in 1729, and built mills upon the falls.
He erected a house east of the Bank. The well now used
for the tenements next the Bank was dug for his house,
which afterwards was a tavern. It was a large two story
house, called "the Great House," and was standing when the
first movements were made to erect factories here in 1813.
Mr. Demond occupied it for a year or more, and it stood
Jacob Cummings came here very soon after, from Kil-
lingly, Ct. and was one of the most influential men in the esta-
blishment of a Church and Society. He located upon the
farm now owned by Joel Rice, Esq., and owned that, and
* It appears by the Palmer records, that 100 acres adjoining Jabez
Olrastead's farm, was granted to his eldest son.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 13
the one now owned by his great grandson, the Hon. Joseph
Cummings. This tract was first laid out to Stewart South-
gate, clerk of the proprietors of the Elbows.
What is now the south east corner of the town was first
settled by Isaac Magoon. He and his son, Isaac Jr., own-
ed the farms now owned by Samuel Gould, Haskell Cum-
mings and Josephus Lamberton, about 700 acres. These
lands then belonged to the proprietors of the Elbows, now
Palmer. Their grant covered all the lands not included in
the ten thousand acres and the five hundred acres, except
1443 acres in the north-east corner of the town, and some
small portions since added to this town from Brookfield.
The first settlers on this tract were what would be called
in these days, squatters. Judah Marsh came from Hatfield
or Hadley about 1730, and settled near Marsh's mills. He
married a daughter of Capt. Jabez Olmstead, and his de-
scendants now occupy some portions of the land granted to
him and his brothers. The petition and grant may interest
the descendants. They are copied from the originals in the
Secretary's office at Boston.
" To his Excellency Jonathan Belcher Esq. Captain General and
Commander in chief of His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts
Bay in New England, &c., The Honorable His Majesty's Council and
House of Representatives in General Court assembled at Boston, Oct.
The Petition of us, the subscribers, Humbly she weth. That your Pe-
titioners are now actually dwellinof on a tract of the unappropriated lands
of this Province, in the county of Hampshire, bounded south partly by
that tract of land called the Elbows and partly by Brookfield township,
East by Ware River, North by land lately granted to Col. Lamb and
Co.,^nd west by that part of the Equivalent lands belonging to John
Read, of Boston, Esq. containing fourteen hundred and forty-three
acres, as per a plat of said land herewith presented, more particularly
appears, and on said tract of lands we have lived some of us three
years where we have spent the most of that little substance we have ;
and we assure your Honours, it was not the extraordinary goodness
or quality of the lands, that induced us to go upon it, for a considerable
part of said tract is Ledges of Rocks, and very Rockey, so as to render
it unprofitable and almost useless, (as those that are acquainted with it
can Testifie,) but that which induced us to settle on it, was our necessi-
ty, our principle dependance for the support of ourselves is husbandly,
and we had not a foot of land to imploy ourselves and families upon,
were exposed to idleness and pinching want, and being then unsensi-
ble how highly the court resented such a way of settling, and appre-
hending that the principle thing insisted on was that there should be no
trading or stockjobbing, but an actual settlement and improvement in
husbandry, by the grantees themselves, with which we were ready to
Wherefore, being thus unhappily intangled on said Land, with great
submission, we most humbly move, that this great and Honorable As-
14 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
sembly would condescend to exercise their charity and Pitty towards
usj in granting us, (out of said land, including the spots we have al-
ready begun on,) so much Land as may be a competency for us to im-
prove for a livelyhood for ourselves and children, we have no tho't of
any other, but with submission to spend the remainder of our Lives and
substances on the spot, are content and ready to submit to any injunc-
tions or Limitations within our reach, this Great and Honorable Court
shall think meet to lay upon us, who as in Duty bound, shall ever pray,
John X Clemens.
Jonathan X Rood.
In the House of Representatives, Oct. 29, 1733. Read and ordered
that the prayer of the Petition as particularly set forth in the vote on
the plat of the lands hereto annexed.
Sent up for concurrence,
J. QUINCY, Speaker.
In Council, Oct. 29, 1733. Non-concurred, and ordered that a com-
mittee be appointed to view the lands and report.
The House non-concurred in this vote, and the petition was not call-
ed up again until 1737.
Here follow the plat of the survey with the oaths admin-
istered by Timothy Dwight Esq. of Belchertown, to Nathan-
iel Dwight tlie Surveyor, and to William Clements and Jon-
athan Rood the chain-men.
^' In the House of Representatives, Jan. 3, 1737.
Read, and ordered that the petition be revived, and that the pkt be
accepted, and that the lands therein delineated and described be and nere-
by are confirmed to the said Thomas Marsh, William Clements, John
Clements, Jonathan Rood, Judah Marsh, and Samuel Marsh, their
heirs and assigns respectively, provided each of the grantees do within
the space of five years from this date, have six acres of the granted
premises brought to English grass, or broken up by plowing, and each
of them have a good dwelling-house thereon, of eighteen feet square,
and seven feet stud at the least, and each a family dwelling therein, that
they actually bring to the settlement of said Lands by themselves, or
their children as above laid, provided also, the plat exceeds not the
quantity of fourteen hundred and forty-three acres, and does not inter-
fere with any former grant, and also that the grantees do within twelve
months, pay to the Province Treasury, five pounds each, for the use
of this province. Sent up for concurrence,
J. QLIINCY, Speaker.
In Council, Jan. 4, 1737. Read and concurred.
SIMON FROST, Deputy Sec'y.
Consented to. J. BELCHER.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 15
I have been more particular in tracing the origin of the
grants, because I found the traditions so erroneous. It ap-
pears to have been the custom of the Indians to burn over
this territory, to aid them in securing game. The practice
had destroyed the forests to a great extent, and doubtless in-
jured the soil. Brookfield was settled as early as 1673, and
the inhabitants used these lands for pasturing, and continued
the practice of burning to improve the feed. Brookfield
pastures was their common name. So bare of timber was
the country, that the early settlers of Warren, on coming to
the top of Coy's hill, could discern a stray beast any where
in this whole valley.
The town seems to have taken its name from the river
passing through it, which bears the same nanje, from its
sources to its junction with the Chicopee of which it is the
middle and longest branch. It abounded with fish, the falls
being a famous place for taking salmon. Weirs or Wears
were constructed to aid in taking them, and hence the name
of Wear River, wliich was afterwards spelled Ware. It is
not so sweet as the Indian name " Nenameseck," the mean-
ing of which I am not able to give.
The town does not appear to have been settled very rapid-
ly. The soil was poor, and we cannot appreciate the hard-
ships the early settlers encountered. In 1742, when by the
aid of Mr. Read, they petitioned to be incorporated as a
town, it seems there were but thirty-three families here.
The petition, report of the committee, and act of incorpor-
ation, are carefully copied into the book of records, and
from that time to the present, the records have been regular-
ly kept, and carefully preserved. Few towns can show a
more perfect record of their affairs from their first incorpo-
ration than this town.
In the history I shall give, from this period, I shall con-
fine myself as closely to record evidence, as I have in
searching for the grants.
The town as incorporated, contains a tract lying mostly
between Ware river and Swift river, being about six and a
half miles long east and west, by four and a half north and
south. It is the south-east corner town of Hampshire
The Read Manor was the first located in 1713.
The Hollingsworth grant, taking in the tract now occupied
by the village and the water power, 1715. The Elbow
tract was laid out in 1732. And the Marsh and Clements
grant in 1733.
16 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
"To his Excellency William Shirley, Esq., Captain General and
Governour in Chief, the honorable the Council and Representatives in
General Court assembled 26th May 1742. The petition of Thomas
Marsh and others to the number of thirty-three house holders, about
and between Wear River and Swift River, near Brookfield, humbly
Sheweth. That your Petitioners are settled on a tract of land bound-
ed, beginning at the Southwest Corner of the ten thousand acres of
Equivalent land at Swift River, thence running due east to Biookfield
Bounds, thence on Brookfield to Ware River, thence on Ware River to
Hardwick, thence onHardwick to the ten thousand acres of Equivalent
lands aforesaid, and thence on the Bounds of the said ten thousand
acres, including the same unto the first mentioned Boundings. They
dwell at a great distance from any place of public worship, most of
them six or seven miles, and therefore cannot enjoy that privilege in
their present condition, but as their Hearts are sincerely desirous of
the Public Worship of God, they persuade themselves they shall be
able chearfuUy to bear the Charge that will attend it. But as some of
them belong to the town at the Elbows, some to Brookfield, and the
rest of them live on farms of the Province Grants, they cannot properly
and lawfully Proceed to erect and maintain the Public Worship of God
among them, without the aid of this Court, and therefore Pray this
honorable Court by a suitable Committee of this Court, to inquire into
their state and circumstances, and make them a separate and distinct
Township or Parish, and your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever
John Read, for the Petitioners.
Jabez Olmstead. Paul Thurston. Joseph Marks, Sen.
Jerm. Olmstead. Edm'd. Ayres. Joseph Marks.
Israel Olmstead. Isaac Magoon, Jun. Joseph Brooks.
Jacob Cummings,Jun. Wm. Paterson. Benj'. Shiple.
Nahum Davis. Joseph Simoxs. John Anderson.
James Cummings. Job Corlv, Tho's. Chapin.
Jos. Marsh. Sam'l. Marsh. Daniel Thurston.
Rich'd. Rogers. Judah Marsh. Isaac Magoon.
JACf/B Cummings. Eph'm. Marsh. John Post.
Sam'l. Allen. Thomas Marsh. Sam'l. Davis.
In the House of Representatives, June 2, 1742. Read and ordered
that Capt. Patridge and Capt Converse with such as the honorable
Board shall joine, be a Committee to view the State and Circumstances
of the Petitioners. They giving seasonable Notice to the Inhabitants
or Proprietors of Brookfield and the Elbows (so called) and the Inhab-
itants of Western who may be affected thereby : that they may be pre-
sent at the meeting of said Committee if they see Cause : The Com-
mittee to report as soon as may be what they judge proper for the
Court to do in answer to this Petition. Sent up for concurrence. T.
Gushing Spk'r. In Council June 8, 1742. Read and Concurred and
Joseph Wilder, Esq. is joined in the affair.
J. W^illard Sect.
Consented to W. Shirley.
Copy examined by J. Willard, Sect.
The Committee appointed on the Petition of Thomas Marsh and
others living near Ware River, in the County of Hampshire, have at-
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 17
tended on said service, been upon the Spot, viewed the Lands Prayed
for to be erected into a township, inquired into the Circumstances of
the petitioners, and heard the objections of some of the Inhabitants of
Kingstown,* and are of opinion that the Petitioners at present are not
sufficient in order to erect a Town, with privileges, &c. But inasmuch
as they Live at aweary great distance from anyplace of public worship
and meet with great difficulty thereby, we are further of opinion that the
Petitioners living Northward of a Line Run due easlf from the South-
west Corner of the land Belonging to John Read, Esq., to Western
Line, be freed from all Taxes to any other place or Town during the
Pleasure of the General Court, so that they may be able to Provide
Preaching among themselves which is submitted in the name and by
order of the Committee.
Dec. 4, 1712. JOSEPH WILDER.
In council Read and ordered that this Report be accepted and also
that the Lands within the limits above mentioned, and the Inhabitants
thereon, be erected into a Precinct, and that the said Inhabitants have the
Powers and Privileges which other Precincts do, or by Law ought to
enjoy, and that they be and hereby are obliged to maintain the Public
worship of God among them in the Support of a learned orthodox min-
ister. Sent down for Concurrence.
J. WiLLARD, Sect.
In the house of Representatives, Dec. 7, 1742. Read and Con-
Attest, RoLAiND CoTTOX, Clerk. Dom. Rep.
Consented to, W. Shirley.
Copy examined per J. Willard, Sect.
The following deed from Mr. Read, uill show that he
took some interest in establishing religious institutions here.
" To all People to whom this writing shall come, I John Read of
Boston, in the County of Suflblk, Send Greeting. Know Ye that for
the founding and Indowment of a Parish Church on the Ten Thou-
sand acres of Equivalent lands, lying on the East side of Swift River,
upon the Road from Brookfield to Hadley, and now called the mannor
of Peace, I do hereby give, grant, convey and confirm unto Jabez
Olmstead, Gent, and Isaac Magoon, Yeoman, living near the said man-
nor, and William Blackmer, John Davis and Benjamin Lull of the said
mannor, Yeomen, the Sixth lott of land from the North of the fourth
Tier of lotts from the East in the mannor of Peace, Extending South
on a four rod highway a hundred rod wide, and from thence West and
by South half a mile long. Also, part of the fifth lot near against the
middle of that extending west and by South on the Main road twenty
rod wide and from thence North twenty four rod long with the appur-
tenances. To Have and to Hold the Sixth lot and part of the fifth lot
aforesaid with the appurtenances to them the said Jabez Olmstead, Isaac
Magoon, William Blackmer, John Davis and Benjamin Lull, and their
heirs forever, in special Trust and confidence for the only uses, intents
* Now Palmer.
f The South line of the Equivalent ran E. by N. The strip be-
tween these lines was called "The Garter."
18 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
and purposes hereafter exprest, viz. for the use of the first minister of
God's Holy word and Sacraments, who shall be freely chosen by the
Inhabitants, free holders of the said manner and such others as the laws
of the Government shall joyn in one Parish with them, or by the ma-
jor part of them, and thereupon be lawfully Instituted and Ordained to
that holy office there and such his successors forever, in pure and
perpetual Almes, and for these special purposes, viz. the three acres,
part of the fifth lot aforesaid, for the founding and continuance of a
Parish Church and Christian Burying place forever : and the Sixth lot
for a Glebe thereunto annexed for the improvement of such Minister
and his Successors at their discretion towards their maintenance and
.support forever. In witnesfe whereof I hereunto put my hand and seal
this nineteenth day of September, Anno Dom. seventeen hundred and
Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of ) j^q ^^j^^^ ^^^ g^^j_
Joseph Ayres, Lemuel Llackmer. ^ '
Hampshire, ss. At an Inferiour Court of Common Pleas, held at
Northampton by adjournment on the first Tuesday of March Anno
Dom. 1757. Then Lemuel Blackmer one of the Witnesses to ye
w^ithin written Instrument appearing, made solemn Oath that he saw
John Read, Esq., now deceased, in his lifetime, sign, seal, and Exe-
cate the within instrument, as his act and deed, that he signed as a
Witness to the same, and saw Joseph Ayres sign as a Witness also, at
ye same time.
Attest, J. Williams, Clerk.
Rec'd. March 24th, 1757, and Recorded from the Original.
Edw'd. Pynchon, Reg'r;
The warrant for the first meeting of the precinct was is-
sued Feb. 18, 1742-3 by William Pynchon, Esq. of Spring-
field. It will be remembered that the change from the old
style to new was not recognized in this country until 1752.
Previous to which the year commenced on the 25th March,
and the dates upon our records, between the 1st of January
and that time are double. The first meeting was March 15,
1742-3, at the house of Jabez Oimstead, near where the
Bank now is, where they met for some years. Jacob Cummings
was the Moderator of the first meeting, and he with Edward
Ayres and Joseph Simons were chosen Precinct Committee,
John Post, clerk. The object of this meeting, after choos-
ing Precinct officers, was to raise money to defray the ex-
penses of the act of incorporation, and for preaching the
Gospel. It was voted to raise ten pounds and six shillings
old tenor, to pay the charge of the committee, surveyor,
and chain-men, and to raise forty pounds, old tenor, to hire
preaching with. In consequence of the depreciation of the
currency at that time, two shillings and eight pence sterling,
was the value of twenty shillings, old tenor.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 19
It was not my intention to go into the ecclesiastical histo-
ry of the town at this titne, but to leave that part to those
who may properly be supposed to take the deepest interest
in those things. But I should give you but a meagre ac-
count of the first settlers of the town, were I to omit this
part of their history. It was their desire to hear the gospel
which moved them to'get set-off as a separate parish, and
the records show that its maintenance was first in their hearts.
Up to the time of the organization of the East Congrega-
tional Society, in 1826, there was but one religious Society
in town. All the business relating to the settlement and
support of ministers was transacted in town meeting. I
shall therefore give a brief history of the ministry in town.
May 5, 1743. The Precinct " voted to hire INIr. Dickin-
son to preach among us, until the forty pounds we granted
is spent." In March, 1744, sixty pounds were raised for
the support of the gospel, and several candidates employed.
In Nov. 1745, Mr. Henry Carey was invited to settle as
their minister, but declined.
Soon after the incorporation of the Precinct, efforts were
made to build a house of worship, but they could not agree
upon the spot. Nathaniel Dwiglit of Belchertovvn, was em-
ployed to find the geographical centre of the town, which is
a few rods north of the meeting house now standing in the
west parish. In 1748, it was voted " to build a house 40
by 35, 18 feet posts, to pay twelve shillings, old tenor, for
common laborers, eighteen shillings for team and cart."
But nothing efficient was done, until Sept. 1750, when it
was voted to build a house 30 by 25, — 15 feet posts.
" Voted to raise the sum of thirty pounds, thirteen shillings
and four pence, lawful money, to defray the charges of build-
ing and covering the meeting house. £20 13s- 4'1- to be
paid in labor and covering and slitwork, provided that
every freeholder will "pay to the committee or collector the
labor or materials his due proportion, — that he shall be as-
sessed, upon suitable notice, and four pounds for to procure
nails for the meeting house. Voted, that labor shall be set
at the value of eighteen shillings per day, and team work
answerable, and boards at nine pounds, equal to old tenor,
and shingles at four pounds ten shillings, old tenor." Jacob
Cummings, Joseph Scoit, Edward Ayres, Samuel Allen,
and John Taplln, were chosen building committee. It was
some years before the house was completed, if it was ever
entirely done. " Sept. 4, 1760. — It was voted to have an
20 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
alley three feet wide, between the men's and women's seats."
In June, 1762, " voted to allow Thomas Andrews six pounds
to plaister the meeting house over head." Sept. 24, 1766,
" Voted, that Thomas Andrews shall halve the boards over
head in the meeting house, and is to have what the workmen
judge it worth for said halving." It was used as a place of
worship until the year 1800, when the house that has been
recently remodeled in the west parish, was built.
March, 1750-51, " it was voted to ordain the worthy
Mr. Grindall Rawson in this Precinct, on the second Wed-
nesday in May next." His answer to the call is dated Feb.
11, 1750, and as a specimen of the man and of the times,
I copy it from the records, where it is'entered, apparently in
his own hand writing.
" My BRETHRE^^,
Since you were so unanimous in your invitation of me to settle with
you in the work of the Gospel Ministry, (there beiujo- not so much as
one~ negative vote,) upon seriously addressing- myself to the throne
of grace, as I trust for direction, in the ffreat affair, after proper reflec-
tion upon the difficulties you would be likely to be thrown into upon my
Isaving you, — notwithstanding the great discouragements in regard to
my outward subsistence at present, and the many satisfactions of life
of which I foresee I must deny myself, more I believe than you are
sensible of, or is any wav necessary for me to recite, which have set
very heavy upon my mind, and have for a long time preyed upon my
spirits, and had I have hearkened to the struggles of animal nature,
would soon have determined me to have left you, tho' in the greatest
confusion ; yet a sense of duty and a desire of promoting your ever-
lasting peace and welfare, have counterpoised all other difRculties, so
that I have concluded to comply with your request, and accept of your
invitation ; hoping that God in his Providence will so order it, that we
shall be mutual blessings to one another. And as it is not yours, but
you that I shall seek, I hope that you will be ready to contribute to me
at all times of your temporals, as I shall be ready to do to you in spir-
ituals, to the utmost of my power, and have no g-reater joy, I hope,
than in promotinj your good, and seeing you walking in the truth, and
that I shall so walk before you in a sober and Godly life, that you may
have me for an example, and that both in my living and preaching, I
may set forward the religion of Jesus.
Brethren, pray for me, that I may be made a precious gift of our as-
cended Saviour to you. I hope that you will never do any thing to
weaken my hands or discourage my heart, [which I assure you is almost
dismayed already under the sjloomy prospect,] nor expect perfection
from me, for I am a man of Uhe passions, and subject to human infirm-
ities, which I hope you will ever be ready to cover with a mantle of
love. And that you may behave yourselves, as becomes knowing, wise
and discreet christians, nothing wavering or unsteady, shall ever be
my prayer for you.
Peace, Feb. II, 1750.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 21
Mr. Rawson's salary for the first two years was to be
i45, the third year three pounds to be added, and four
pounds annually afterwards till it should be sixty pounds, and
£100 settlement. He was ordained May 8, 1751.* The
same day a church was organized, but it is not known of
how many members it consisted. It must have been small,
as the whole number which had been admitted at the time of
Mr. Rawson's dismission, Jan. 19, 1754, was but 43. But
little is known of Mr. Rawson's history or character.
Traditional accounts represent him as a man of little
seriousness, comeliness or refinement. Some disaffection
seems to have shown itself soon after his settlement, for May
12, 1752, it was voted, " to reconsider the vote giving Air.
Rawson a call, and for paying the salary and settlement."
The collectors neglected or refused to collect the taxes for
his salary, and a petition was sent to his Majesty's council and
House of Representatives, asking power to excuse the col-
lectors, and choose others in their stead, which was granted.
Mr. Rawson's request for a dismission is upon record as
" To the Committee of Ware River Parish, to be communicated to
You are sensible that for some time I have wanted to be released
from my relation to Ware River Parish as a minister, and as the major
part of the voters have dismissed me from my relation to them as a
minister, I gladly accept the opportunity of releasing myself from you,
especially as the major part of my church have this day invited me to
accompany them into a new settlement of which I have accepted, and
I therefore do now release you from your relation to me as a minister
from this day forward, as witness my hand, Jan. 30, 1754.
It does not appear that any council was called to dissolve
the connexion. Mr. Rawson was afterwards settled in Yar-
mouth, Mass. in 1755, where he remained but a (ew years.
* The Council at the ordination of Mr. Rawson, were
Rev. John Campbell, of Oxford.
" Grindall Rawson, of Hadlyme, Conn.
" Robert Breck, 1st church, of Springfield.
" Caleb Rice, of Sturbridge.
" David White, of Hardwick.
" Noah Mirick, of 4th church, Springfield, (now Wilbraham.)
" Thomas Skinner, of Westchester, in Colchester, Ct.
" Benjamin Bowers, of Middle Haddam, Ct.
" Isaac Jones, of Western, (now Warren.)
" Pelatiah Webster, of Quabbin, (now Greenwich.)
each -with his delegate.
22 fflSTORICAL ADDRESS.
He is believed to have been a Chaplain in the Revolu-
After Mr. Rawson's dismission, there does not appear to
have been regular preaching for some time. The poverty
of the people rendered it exceeding difficult to collect the
taxes. It appears the precinct " voted Jan. 1, 1755, that
the collectors of Ware River Parish that are behind in their
collections, pay in and make up their collection to the Parish
Committee, excepting so much as the court assigned to Mr.
Ravvson, by the hand of Mr. Edward Ayres, for this reason,
that the Parish Treasurer is reduced to such low circum-
stances, that the parish are not willing to trust any more in
In the fall of 1758, the church and Precinct called Mr.
Ezra Thayer to become their minister, and he was or-
dained Jan. 10, 1759. His salary was to be £40 for three
years, then £3 to be added yearly till it became £55, and
as settlement, ^100. A deed of the parsonage land is ac-
knowledged by him as part of the settlement, J£66 13«- 4'^-
He lived where Samuel Holbrook now lives. To this time
the church had no confession of faith, and one was proposed
by the ordaining council and adopted. The half way cove-
nant plan prevailed to considerable extent, and injured the
prosperity of the church. Mr. Thayer continued to be
minister till his death, Feb. 12, 1775. Seventy-nine were
received into the church in full communion, during his min-
Mr. Thayer was a native of IMendon, graduated at Har-
vard College, 1756. He is said to have been a plain man,
of pleasing address, and to have secured the confidence of
the people. The town erected tomb stones to mark the
place of his burial, as a token of their respect.
The following is the Epitaph on his tomb stone, now
standing in the burying ground in the West Parish.
" In Memory of the Rev. Ezra Thayer, the Learned, Pious, Faith-
ful, and Deservedly Esteemed Pastor of the Church in this town, who
* I find there have been three ministers of the same name, — Grin-
dall Rawson, who graduated at Harvard College, 1678, settled in Men-
don 1680, where he died, 1715.
A nother Grindall Rawson graduated at Harvard College, 1728 — was
settled as the first minister in South Hadley, 1733, where he is spoken
of by President Edwards, as a successful minister. He was afterwards
settled at Hadlyme, Ct. 1745, where he died in 1777. Grindall Raw-
son, the first minister in Ware, graduated at Harvard College, 1741,
and died in 1794, aged 73. The first was probably the grand- father^
the second, an uncle of the latter.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 23
died Feb. 12, 1775, in the 43d year of his age, and the 16th of his
Go reader mind
The better part,
Believe the Gospel,
Mend thy heart.
Go learn to live,
Learn to die.
For die thou must
As well as I."
In 17S0, jNIr. Winslow Packard was invited to become
the minister, but declined this, as well as a renewal of the
call. In 1785, Mr. Jeremiah Hallock preached here as a
candidate, and an unsuccessful attempt was made to settle
him. While he was preaching here, an unusual interest was
manifested in religion. He afterwards was an eminent min-
ister at Canton, Ct., and an interesting memoir of him was
compiled by Rev. Cyrus Yale, of New Hartford, Ct. A
few sentences from his diary, while he was preaching in this
place, will be interesting.
" 1785, Oct. 17, Sabbath. Spent some lime in medita-
tion and prayer this morning. The people were very atten-
tive. O, may I never forget the mercies of the Lord. —
Had a very full and attentive conference this evening. Had
freedom in discourse, and so had others. — Some appear-
ance of an awakening — O, may it come on, O, may it come
on. Nov. 7. — A remarkable meeting this evening. Some
suppose there were three hundred persons present — was en-
abled to preach with freedom to the most affected audience
I ever saw.
Feb. 1. Visited my pleasant grove, and took my farewell of
Ware. I have been there twelve Sabbaths. W^hen I came
the young people were light and gay, but it has pleased God
to awaken them so that their frolicks are turned into confer-
ences, and to God's name be all the glory. There are
about twelve hopefid converts."
In July, 1785, Mr. Benjamin Judd was invited to settle
as a minister, and was ordained, Oct. 12. He probably
came from the county of Berkshire, as his ordination sermon
was preached by Rev. Daniel Collins of Lanesboro'. Dr.
West of Stockbridge, Rev. Mr. Perry of Richmond, and
Rev. JNIr. Munson of Lenox, were members of the council.
The people were not united in calling Mr. Judd, and un-
happily difficulties soon arose, which resulted in his dismis-
24 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
sion, Sept. 28, 1787, and no minister was settled for five
In March, 1792, the church and town gave an unanimous
invitation to Mr. Reuben Moss, to become their minister,
and he was ordained June 12th. He was a native of Che-
shire, Ct., graduated at Yale College, 1787, and studied
Theology with Rev. Dr. Trumbull, of New Haven. He
received £80 salary, and j6150 settlement. The following
is his answer to the call, copied from the original, which has
been carefully preserved.
" To the Church and other Inhabitants in Ware.
Brethren and Friends,
I have taken your Call to settle with you as a
Gospel minister, into serious, deliberate and prayerful Consideration.
Influenced by Solomon's Assertion, In the multitude of Counsellors
there is safety, I have also asked the opinion of my Honoured Parents
and of many Reverend Fathers in the Ministry. On the whole, re-
viewing the singular Providence of God, in opening a door for me to
preach the gospel among you, the Unanimity of your hearts in Elect-
ing me for your pastor, Your generous Proposals for my temporal sup-
port and the joint Encouragement of all to whom I have made appli-
cation for advice to go forward, I am inclined to think that the Voice
of the People is the voice of God, saying this is the way, walk in it':
however, contemplating the Magnitude and extent of a good work,
how many fiery darts may be hurled at an Officer in the Church mili-
itant, and the Solemn account all who watch for souls must give at the
last great day, I am ready to adopt the language of the apostle, who is
sufficient for these things. But the Captain of our Salvation hath
said, Lo I am with you always. Animated by this Great and precious
promise, I Cheerfully comply with your joint invitation. Let me.be
Interested always in your efl^ectual fervent prayers, and constantly sup-
ported by your pious Examples, and I think I shall be cordially willing
to spend and be spent for you.
I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he
would satisfy you Early with his mercies, do you good and make you
Glad according to the days wherein he hath afflicted you, and the
years wherein you have seen Evil. Now the God of hope pour his
spirit upon you, and his blessing upon your offspring and fill you all,
both old and young with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may
abound in hope, through the power of the holy Ghost. Permit me to
subscribe myself vour servant for Jesus' Sake.
N. B. As Ware is so far from my kindred according to the flesh,
from the public seats of Literature, &c., I may have occasion to be
absent three or four Sabbaths Yearly.
P. S. It is written If any man provide not for his own but especially
for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than
an Infidel. You will expect therefore that I pay suitable attention to
the things which are seen. I shall consider it an act of kindness if
HISTORICxVL ADDRESS. 25
the town will give their oblig-ation to Mr. Thomas Marsh for forty-live
pounds as soon as he procures and delivers me a Warranty Deed of the
seventeen acres of land called his wife's thirds. If it be your pleasure
that the year in our computation of time respecting my annual Salary
commence the first day of April, when I last returned to you from Pel-
ham, I have no objections.— Once more I beg leave to rely on your
punctuality. Punctuality will be best for you, for in general sufficient
unto a year are the burdens thereof. Punctuality I apprehend will be
of great service to me. I suppose I shall be willing to enter into a fa-
mily state, as soon as I can procure Decent Buildings without being
much involved, and I have but little to depend onto defray the expense
of Building, besides my annual income and the kind donation of a gen-
erous people. Punctuality, therefore, and any assistance which has
been or may be proposed, will be received with gratitude by him who
is cheerfully devoted to the service of God our Saviour among you.
Finally, Brethren, be perfect, be of good Comfort, be of one mind, live
in peace, and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you. Happy
is that People that is in such a case, yea happy is that People whose
God is the Lord.
Ware, May 18, 1792.
REUBEN MOSS, TO THE WHOLE TOWN,
As it is customary in this Commonwealth for every family to make an
Entertainment, I am sensible the expenses of Ordination have been
pretty considerable. And you been at some Cost and pains in sending
to call my distant friends. Desirous therefore of sharing with you in
the Expenses of Ordination and of exhibiting a public solid testimony
of my grateful sense of your kindness in sending so far to my old
friends, I request you to accept of five pounds. If you comply whh
this request, the Assessors may be directed to make a rate bill for this
year's Salary, which will amount only to seventy-five pounds.
The Moderator of the Town Meeting of Ware, to be communicated.
Ware, June 26, 1792.
In answer to this, the town voted '' to accept of Mr. Moss' gratis."
Mr. Moss continued in the ministry in this place until his
death, Feh. 17, 1809, more than sixteen years. He was a
very successful and devoted minister. During his labors,
fifty were added to the church, forty-two by profession, and
eight by recommendation from other churches. He was a
man of ardent piety, of refined feelings, and somewhat dis-
tinguished as a Biblical scholar. Asa preacher, he was
plain atid practical, and enforced his instructions by a blame-
less example. Many now remember him as the faithful and
affectionate friend of the young. He was particular in his
attention to the district schools. At the time of his settle-
ment they were in a low and disorderly state, but they very
soon became very much improved through his attention and
influence. By his effort in this department of his labors, he
26 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
was instrumental in preparing a large number of young men
to engage in the instruction of schools in this and neighbor-
ing towns. No town in this vicinity it is said, furnished so
many teachers. The tone of moral feeling and the standard
of education were greatly raised among the people. Twice
during his ministry, he was afflicted with derangement, and
died at the age of fifty.*
July 9, 1810. Rev. Samuel Ware was invited to settle
as minister, and was ordained Oct. 31. Salary, .^400, and
a settlement of $i500, if he should remain fifteen years. He
was a useful minister, and was much blessed in his labors,
for more than fifteen years, and gathered one hundred and
ninety-seven into the church, 177 by profession, and 20 by
letter from other churches. He was dismissed in conse-
quence of ill health, in 1826, and the following vote passed
by the town, July 3, will show the esteem in which he was
held. " Voted, unanimously, that agreeably to his request,
we dismiss and cordially recommend the Rev. Samuel
Ware, as an exemplary christian, and an able, judicious and
faithful minister of the gospel."
Jn July 19, 1826, Rev. Augustus B. Reed, a native of
Rehoboth, and graduate of Brown University, in 1821, was
installed as pastor of the church and people. The same
council dismissed Mr. Ware, who is still living. To this
time, all business pertaining to the affairs of the parish had
been done in town meeting. Mr. Reed continued the min-
ister of the first parish until June 5, 1838, when be was dis-
missed on account of feeble health. He died in this town,
Sept. 30, 1838, aged nearly 40.
Rev. Hervey Smith, his successor, was installed Sept.
19, 1838, dismissed 1840, and is now living in the state of
Rev. William E. Dixon, of Enfield, Ct., a graduate of
Williams College, was ordained Jan. 14, 1841, and dismiss-
ed May 26, 1842. He is now living in his native place.
Rev. David N. Cohurn, from Thompson, Cl., a graduate
of Amherst College, was ordained Sept. 21, 1842, and is
the present minister of the first church.
Until 1825, the inhabitants of the town had generally met
in one place of worship. In consequence of the flourishing
* Mr. Moss married Mrs. Hadassah Cheesebrough, of Stonington,
Ct. where some of his descendants now live. He built the house now
owned by Reuel Washburn. It was afterwards owned by Rev. Mr,
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 27
village which rose as by magic in that year on the eastern
border of the town, containing about one half of the popula-
tion, it was found necessary to form a new society, and
erect a house of worship. In April, 1826, a society was
organized, and a church formed, April 12. Rev. Parsons
Cook, a native of Hadley, and a graduate of Williams Col-
ilege, was ordained June 21, 1826.* The same year the
house of worship now occupied by the East Congregational
Society was built. The house has been remodelled the past
year, and will compare advantageously with any house in the
commonwealth west of Worcester. It will seat 900 per-
sons. Mr. Cook continued pastor of the church until April
13, 1835. He gathered 350 members into the church dur-
ing his ministry. He was succeeded by Rev. Cyrus Yale,
from New Hartford, Ct., installed June 11, 1S35, who was
dismissed, and returned to his former field of labor Aug. 3,
Rev. Jonathan Edwards Woodbridge, a native of Wor-
thington in this county, and college class-mate of Mr. Cook,
was installed May 2, 1838. He was dismissed Dec. 28,
1840, to become one of the editors of the N. E. Puritan,
in connexion with Rev. Mr. Cook.
June 28, 1842, the present n)inister, Rev. Nahum Gale
3s ordained. He is a native of . '
graduated at Amherst College, 183'/
Since the Village sprung up, a small Methodist Society
has existed here.
A Baptist Society, just over the line in Hardwick has ex-
isted for more than fifty years, to which Rev. Ebenezer
Burt has preached most of the time, and to which some fa-
milies in this town have belonged. During the last year, a
Baptist church has been organized in the Village, and Rev.
Amory Gale, a graduate of Brown University, was ordain-
ed Nov. 11, 1846. They have not yet erected a house of
worship, but propose to do so this year.
A small Free Will Baptist church has existed a few years
in the southwest part of the town, but has no house of wor-
A house is now going up for an Unitarian Society in the
* The services at the ordination were, Sermon, by Rev. Dr. Wood-
bridge, of Hadley. Ordaining Prayer, by Rev. Mr. Vaill, of Brimfield.
Charge, by Rev. Mr. Ely of Monson. Right hand of fellowship, by
Rev. Mr. Gridley of WiUiamstown. Concluding Prayer, by Rev. Mr.
Sweet, of Palmer. '
The following persons have been deacons in the first
church, viz: —
Died Feb. 27, 1776.
Date of death not known
Died Sept. 11, 1789.
" March 24, 1792.
" June 23, 1826.
" July 10, 1834.
, " 1815.
Died May 10, 1837.
The deacons in the East Congregational Church.
JOSEPH CUMMINGS, chosen in 1826.
" " 1826.
" " 1826.
" " 1837.
" " 1837.
" " 1844.
Ware was incorporated as a town Nov. 25, 1761. The
first warrant for town meeting was issued by Eleazar Porter,
Esq. of Hadley, Feb. 23, 1762, and the meeting held
March 9ih. William Brakenridge was chosen clerk. He
had been clerk of the Precinct from 1757, and held the of-
fice until 1777. The first board of Selectmen were Sam-
uel Sherman, William Brakenridge, John Davis, Jacob
Cuminings, and Judah Marsh, who were also Assessors, —
Jacob Cummings, Treasurer. The first town meetings were
called in His Majesty's name, which continued till 1776.
Then they were called " in the name of Massachusetts and
the people," or " the government and the people of Massa-
chusetts Bay in New England," till the adoption of the State
Constitution, in 1780, when the present style was adopted,
" in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
In March, 17 75, William Brakenridge was chosen dele-
gate to the Provincial Congress. In May of the same year
" it was voted to choose three men to take turns to attend the
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 29"
Congress, a free gratis, the district bearing their expense,"
and it appears that in October, that Wilham Brakenridge
was allowed £o 6^- 8''- and Joseph Foster was allowed =£3
Qs- 6d- Dea. Thomas Jenkins was the other delegate. In
1778, a frame of government, or Constiiiition was sent out
to the people, and unanimously rejected. The action of this
town upon the Constitution that was sent out to the people,
in 1780, is a curious chapter in history, and is worthy of
being copied entire, as an illustration of the difficulties our
fathers encountered when they undertook to set up a govern-
ment of their own.
"May 17, 1780. The meeting being opened, made
choice of Lieut. Abraham Cummings moderator for said
Voted to choose a committee of seven men to consider
of the Constitution, made choice of Capt. Wm. Braken-
ridge, Deacon Thomas Jenkins, Mr. Thomas INIcClintock,
Lieut. Abraham Cummings, Mr. Samuel Dunsmore, Dea.
Maverick Smith, and one Tisdale.
Voted to adjourn the meeting till Thursday, the 25lh inst.
at 1 o'clock. Met and adjourned till Wednesday, the 31st
inst. at 1 o'clock. Met according to adjournment. Voted
not to accept of the whole of the Constitution. Voted to
accept the sixteenth article of the Bill of rights, with this
amendment: — Where it does not hurt the innocent frame of
Chap. 1. Sec. 2. Art. 1. — Voted to take off one third of
the council and Senate.
Sec. 3. Art. 2. — Voted that no town shall send more
than four Representatives.
Chap. 2. Sec. 1. Art. 2. — Voted that the Governor
shall be of the Protestant religion.
Art. 13. — Voted that Salaries shall be lowered as well as
Chap. 3, Art. 1. — Voted that the word Shall, be put in
instead of the word May.
Chap. 6. Art. 3. — Voted, that they shall not increase
the qualifications of property, of persons to be elected to
Thirty-one persons voted to accept the Constitution with
the alteraiions here made, except one man against the third
article of the declaration of rights."
If the Constitution fared as hard in other towns, we may
wonder how our government had an existence. We must
30 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
remember, that there was no model in Europe or elsewhere
that our fathers would follow; and though some of these
votes may seem to us strange, they at least shew that the
men of those times thought for themselves. It shows also,
that some things which have provoked much discussion with-
in a few years, especially with regard to the lowering of sa-
laries, were as well considered then.
This was during the war of the Revolution, when money
was scarce, and the inhabitants being poor, sufiered great
hardships. They do not seem to have been destitute of pat-
riotism, for the lecords show, that they made great efforts
to comply with the requisitions for men and for supphes.
" In 1777, the town voted to raise eight men for^the Conti-
nental army, and to pay each man twenty pounds as a boun-
ty from the town. In 1778, voted to raise the clothing for
the soldiers, to allow six dollars a pair for shoes, four dol-
lars a pair for stockings, ten shillings a yard for cloth a yard
wide. Edward Deinond, Jr. to"provide twenty-one yards."
These prices were in consequence of the depreciation of the
continental money. In 1780, the town raised ^1,000 to
hire preaching, f 1,500 for town charges, £2,000 to repair
highways, at $20 a day.
The same year Mr. Winslow Packard was invited to be-
come the niinister, with £130 settlement, £45 salary " to be
stated on the following articles. Wheat, at five shillings per
bushel. Rye, at three shillings and four pence per bushel.
Indian corn, at two shillings and six pence per bushel.
Pork, at three pence half penny per pound. Beef, at two
pence per pound. Sheep's wool, at one shilling and six
pence per pound. Butter, at seven pence per pound. La-
bor, at two shillings and six pence per day in hay time."
" It was also voted to pay Capt. Brakenridge seven shillings
per week for boarding Mr. Packard, the old way, or eighty
double Continental money." Deacon William Paige was
also allowed " seven shillings a week old way, or seventy-
two double continental."
Daniel Gould, Oliver Coney, and David Brown, were
allowed for twelve days making taxes; eight dollars a day,
Sept. 1780. — It was voted to raise thirteen thousand six
hundred and eighty pounds to pay the soldiers that are now
in service. Jan. 1781. — Mr. Davenport was allowed
three hundred twenty-eight pounds for preaching, forty
pounds per day.
( UNIVERSHY \
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 31
March, 1781 . The poll-tax was thirty pounds ten shillings.
Maverick Smith, Daniel Gould, and David Brown were al-
lowed for making taxes 35 days, at ^^20 a day, two hundred
and ten pounds.
At the first election under the Constitution, Sept. 4,
1780, John Hancock had 20 voles for Governor,
James Bowdoin, 1 vote
Robert Treat Paine, I vote.
Azor One, had 10 votes for Lieut. Governor.
Artemas Ward had 4 votes.
Senators — Joseph Hawley, 14. Col. Woodbridge, 18
John Bliss, 16. Lawyer Strong, 8
Timothy Danielson, 6. Eleazar Porter, 2
" March, 1782. Voted to allow Daniel Gould, and Tho-
mas Tut^s one pound, four shillings, for collecting town
beef; allowed Daniel Gould sixteen shillings and six pence,
for keeping and driving town beef ; allowed Francis Brak-
enridge twelve shillings, for driving beef cattle to Hampton."
These were supplies for the army.
In April, 1786, James Bowdoin for Gov. 20 votes.
John Hancock, " 1 "
Thomas Gushing, Lieut. Gov. IS votes.
Senators — Timothy Danielson, 16. Oliver Phelps, 15
Caleb Strong, 16. Wm. Brakenridge 21
In Aug. 1786, the Shays Insurrection began to make
trouble in this section of Massachusetts, and a town meet-
ing was called on the 18ih, to "see if the town will choose a
delegate or delegates to attend at a county convention that
is appointed to be holden at Hatfield on Tuesday, the 22d
of x\ug. inst. at 10 A. M. at the house of Col. Seth Mur-
ray, to see if a constitutional way of relief, or some legal
method cannot be proposed, for the security and safety of
the good people of this commonwealih, against the burdens
and distresses that prevail at the present day." Capt. Bul-
len was chosen to go to the convention. David Brown,
Isaac Pepper, and Daniel Gould were chosen a committee
to give directions to Capt. Bullen. In Nov. Isaac Pepper
was chosen delegate to a convention at Hadley, and in Jan.
1787, to another at Hatfield.
In Jan. 1787, the town voted the following list of griev-
ances, probably the same voted by the convention.
" 1. The fee table as it now stands.
32 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
2. The present appropriation of the impost and excise
3. The unreasonable grants made to some of the offi-
cers of government.
4. The supplementary code.
5. The present mode of paying government securities.
6. The present mode of taxation, as it operates unequal-
ly betwixt the mercantile and landed interest.
7. The want of a medium of trade to remedy the evil
arising from the scarcity of money.
8. The General Court, sitting in the town of Boston
9. The suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus re-
10. The Riot Act repealed.
11. Voted to have the Constitution revised.
12. Voted to have the C. C. Pleas abolished.
Voted to send a petition to the General Court for a re-
dress of grievances, chose a committee of five men to make
a draft of a Petition, chose Isaac Pepper, Lieut. Cummings,
Mr. Samuel Dunsmore, Capt. Brakenridge, and Mr. "Wil-
Voted to send three men as a committee to General Lin-
coln and Capt. Shays, to consult on some measures for
peace, chose Capt. Brakenridge, Mr. Parker, and Moses
Voted that this town do not allow of any property being
brought and kept in this town as prizes, except the person
bring a receipt, that possesses said property, from the com-
mander of the department from whence such properly is
brought, that they have a right to the same.
Voted that this town, as a town, do not allow of any
sleighs, horses or persons being slopped on the public roads
by any persons."
On the whole, the people here appear to have been more
patriotic tharj many others.
Afier the disturbances growing out of the Shays war were
passed, the oath of allegiance to the government was requir-
ed to be taken by town officers, and for several years it was
copied into the records and signed, by those of whom it was
required. It will be a curiosity to some.
" I, A. B., do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess,
testify and declare, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is
and of right ought to be a free, sovereign and independent
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 33
ance to the said Commonvveallh, and that I will defend the
same against traitorous conspiracies, and all hostile attempts
whatsoever, and that I do renounce and abjure all allegiance
subjection and obedience to the king or government of Great
Britain, (as the case may be) and every other foreign prince
whatsoever, and that no foreign prince, person, prelate,
state or potentate, haih, or ought to have, any jurisdiction,
superiority, pre-eminence, authority, dispensing, or other
power, in any matter, civil ecclesiastical or spirimal within
this commonwealth, except the authority and power which is
or may be vested by their constituents in the Congress of
the United Stales, and do further testify and declare, that
no man or body of men hath or can have any right to absolve
or discharge me from the obligation of this oath, declaration
or affirmation, and that I do make this acknowledgment, pro-
fession, testimony, declaration, denial, renunciation and ab-
juration heartily and truly, according to the common mean-
ing and acceptation of the foregoing words, without any
equivocation, mental evasion or secret reservation, whatso-
ever. So help me God."
In May 1787, Mr. Daniel Gould was chosen to repre-
sent the town in the Great and General Court. "Chose a
committee of five to instruct the representative, chose Capl.
Brakenridge, William Paige, Deacon Smith, William Snell,
and Lieut. Brown for said committee."
March 31, 17SS. " Voted to have a Justice of Peace
in town, made choice of Mr. Isaac Pepper for said Justice.
Voted that the selectmen make a j'eturn to the Governor
and Council as soon as may be." No conmiission was giv-
en to him, nor does any justice appear to have been appoint-
ed until William Bowdoin was commissioned in 1801.
At the election Apr. 178S, the votes for Governor were
for Elbridge Gerry 37, John Plancock 15.
About this time it seems to have been the custom to warn
all new comers to the town to depart, to prevent their ob-
taining a legal settlement and becoming cliargeable to the
town. In March 1765, the town voted to allow William
Bell for warning out several and carrying out some, twelve
shillings, and to Abraham Cummings for warning out Job
Smith one shilling. In 1790, there is upon record a war-
rant duly served by the Constable, in which he is directed to
warn fifty-one persons, giving their names, "who have come
into this town for the purpose of abiding therein not having
the town's consent, to depart the limits thereof with their
34 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
children and all under them, within fifteen days." Among
the names are some, who afterwards became substantial citi-
zens, and whose children and grandchildren are now living
here in as comfortable circumstances as any of us.
Apr. 7, 1794. " Voted to choose a committee of seven
to make a list of those persons who are subject to be warned
out of town agreeable to the laws of this commonwealth and
to report the same at the next town meeting." This is the
last record referring to that custom, which was changed
about tl.at time by the course of legislation.
The records of the town show that the people never have
been rich. The support of paupers for many years was a
large part of the business in town meetings. The same
custom existed here as in other places of putting up the
poor at auction in open town meeting to be supported by the
lowest bidder. Like some other things we find to disap-
prove in the customs of our fathers, this has gone out of
use. The town has now a farm, where a comfortable home
is provided for the poor.
Some extracts from the records will show the mode of
doing business in those days. At every meeting from the
organization of the Precinct, it was a standing vote that
"swine should run at large with yokes and rings."
May 1782. " Voted that Capt. Brakenridge as a com-
mittee agree with Rev. IMr. Tuttle to supply the pulpit for
one year, on condition that if the town can get a young man
upon probation, Mr. Tuttle to give way."
Apr. 19. 1757. " Voted to hire preaching for this sum-
mer. Voted to raise upon the polls and estates, the sum of
£13 6s. Sd. for preaching and boarding of ministers and
going after ministers. Voted Joseph Foster to go after min-
isters. Voted John Downing to provide a Law Book."
March 1784. " Voted to employ Mr. Tuttle one year
or until a young man can be employed in the town."
March 1735. The town voted " to adopt Dr. Watts'
Psalms and Hymns to be sung in this congregation.* Voted
that they begin next Sabbath."
Previous to this, Tate and Brady or Sternhold and Hopkins
had been used, and the change was made while Rev. Jere-
miah Hallock was preaching here and probably through his
influence. The chorister was chosen by the town, and the
* The article in the warrant was, " To see if the Congregation will
concur with the Church in adopting Docter Watts' aversion of Pslams
and Hymns, to be sung in public worship."
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 35
custom was for the whole congregation to join in singing the
deacon reading one line at a time.
March 1790, the record says, " made choice of Dr.
Rufus King, Solomon Bush, and iMr. George Brakenridge,
Queristers, for the year ensuing. Voted that the deacon
read one verse or more at a tirne according as the tune may
require." Tliis was advancing one degree.
When the practice first obtained for the singers to sit in
the gallery by themselves, it was strenuously opposed.
Some would leave the house rather than listen to such pro-
Solomon Howe came into this town from Worcester
CouHty. He is spoken of in Mr. Draper's History of
Spencer, as " a celebrated teacher of music, and as having
effected such a reform in Church music in that place, that
the singers were allowed to sit together, and the front part of
the gallery was appropriated to their use."*
* At this place the speaker paused, the audience rose and sang in
the tune St. Martin's, the following, which was read a line at a time
by Deacon Joseph Cummings, the great grand son of Deacon Jacob
Cummings, the first deacon of the first Church.
Old Scotch Version.
Compare this with Dr. Watts'' version of the savie Psalm, " Let chil-
dren hear the mighty deeds," SfC. and the improvement in versification
will be apparent.
1 My mouth shall speak a parable,
and sayings dark of old :
The same which we have heard and known,
and us our fathers told.
2 We also will not them conceal
from their posterity ;
Them to the generation
to come declare will we :
3 The praises of the Lord our God,
and his almighty strength.
The wondrous works that he hath done,
We will show forth at length.
4 His testimony and his law
in Isr'el he did place,
And charg'd our fathers it to show
to their succeeding race ;
5 That so the race which was to come
might them well learn and know ;
And sons unborn, who should arise,
might to their sons them show :
36 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
6 That they might set their hope in God,
and suffer not to fall
His mighty works out of their mind :
but keep his precepts all.
In 1800, the meeting house was built in the middle of the
town, the frame of which has been recently modeled into a
pleasant and commodious house. In April, 1801, "chose
Capt. Wm. Doane to see that the deck of the cupola is
corked and made tight, so as to prevent the water from
penetrating through, and also to finish glazing said cupola and
other panes of glass which are broken in the meeting house,
and fasten the upper casements of the windows so as to pre-
vent them from making an interruption in time of public
" Nov. 2, 1801 . Voted, that the front door of the meet-
ing house be bolted as soon as the speaker hath entered."
" May, 1810. Voted, to raise fifty dollars to be appro-
priated to the instruction of singers, and that those who be-
long to Mr. Burt's society receive their proportion of said
In Sept. 1807. " Voted that there may be a Bell plac-
ed upon the deck of the cupola in this town, upon some
" Voted not to choose a committee to receive subscrip-
tions. Voted that Isaac Pepper, Rufus King, Benjamin
Paige, Ebenezer Titus, Benjamin Davis, Nathaniel R. An-
dpfson, Gould Parsons, Isaac Pepper, Jr., Samuel Conkey,
William Paige, Jr.. Thomas Patrick, and Waters Allen,
together with such as shall hereafter become subscribers,
have liberty to hang a bell upon the deck of the cupola in
this town, provided the bell be purchased and hung upon
said deck free from any cost or expense upon said town
either by lax or otherwise.".
The reason of this extreme caution was, that Isaac Pep-
per, who headed the movement, had sometimes led the town
into awkward predicaments, and in a measure lost their con-
fidence. When the n)eeting house was built in 1800, he
with others procured liberty of the town to erect a cupola
upon it, a subscription was raised, the fiame put up and fas-
tened to the house, and ihe town (old they were at liberty to
finish it or not as they chose. This was called " a right
Pepper Irick,^^ an expression not entirely gone out of use
No bell was placed upon the church until after Mr. Reed's
settlement in 1826.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 37
Dec. 15, 1828. " Voted to give leave to have stoves
erected in the meeting house in the centre of the town, if it
be done without expense to tlie town."
After the factories were buih, an attempt was made to
change the name of the town. In Jan. 1825, " Voted lo
petition lo have the name of the town changed to Water-
ford." It does not seem to have been prosecuted. In
May, 1327, " Voted to raise a committee of five to peti-
tion the LegishUure to survey a Rail Road from Boston to
the Hudson River in the stale of New York. Chose Aiphe-
us Demond, Homer Bartlett, William Bowdoin, Thomas
Snell, and Benjamin Paige." About this time there was
some difficulty between the village and the old parish. An
attempt was made by the village to be incorporated as a
town, which was opposed. x\.t the election of Representa-
tive in 1828, the closest contest was had that ever existed
here, which seems to have been hinged upon this controver-
sy. Aaron Gould had 170 voles, Foster Marsh, 170,
Joseph Cummings 1. Whereupon the town voted not to
send that year. The matter was adjusted by defining the
the lines between the parishes, and the Village was incorpo-
rated as the East Congregational Society. The parish lines
began at Samuel Gould's south-east corner, by Palmer line,
and on his line to Ware River, ihence up the river to Mud-
dy Brook, up Muddy Brook to the old road to New Brain-
tree, north of J. Hartwell's farm, thence on that road to
the turn east of Nathan Coney's, thence to Darius Eaton's
north line, and on that to Brookfield.
The alteration of the Constitution, making the support of
religion a voluntary thing, ia 1833, rendered parish lines of
The first action of the town upon the subject of schools
as appears by the records was in Jan'y. 1757, when it was
" Voted to Devid ye Peraish into two parts for a scool, and
flat Brook to be ye deviding Line."
" Voted Joseph Scott to take care of the West part.
Voted William Brackenridge to take care of the East Part.
At this time no money was raised for schools, nor does
any appear to have been raised for any other purpose tiian
for preaching until after the incorporation of the town in
38 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
1762. At the first town meeting it was voted to divide the
town into four quarters, by a line running East and West
by the meeting house, and by flat brook. North and South.
" Voted to Raies twelve pounds for Skoling. Voted that
Eatch Quarter shall Skool out there part within the year or
be forfit." The same sum was granted the next year. In
1771, only four pounds were raised. In 1772 it was raised
to fourteen pounds. In 1774 fifteen pounds were granted.
For several years no money was raised for schools. The
town meetings were occupied mostly in providing soldiers
for the Revolutionary army, and in paying them and provid-
ing for their families.
In 1782 twenty pounds were raised for schools, the dis-
tricts to remain as formerly. In 1785 it was voted to divide
the town into six districts, and determined where the school
houses should be located. No provision for houses seems
to have been made before. The same year thirty pounds
were raised for schools. In 1787, thirty-six pounds were
raised to build school houses. In 1791, twelve pounds
were raised to build a school house in the middle of the
In 1794, forty-eight pounds were granted for schools.
This was during the ministry of the Rev. Reuben Moss wlw
did much to raise the character of the schools, as well as the
tone of morals and public sentiment. For nearly twenty
years it is thought by some, not a teacher was employed from
out of town, while all the neighbouring towns sought teach-
ers here. Hon. Joseph Cummings taught seven winters in
New Braintree, receiving f 20 per month, being much more
than was usually paid in those times.
In 1797, the town voted to divide the school money into
eight p.irts, ten pounds to each district. Eighty pounds, or
$266,67. In 1805, $320. In 1814, $400. In 1825,
$600. In 1830, $790. In 1835, $800. In 1836, $1000.
In 1840, $1250. Since which time $1100 has been grant-
ed. The town has been for many years divided into ten
districts. At the present time more than half of the scho-
lars are in the first or village District.
The town has now the number of families required by
law to support a grammar school, and the provision of a
room in this house, for such a school, is an indication of
better days for the education of our youth. No school ha?
ever been maintained for any length of time, of a higher
grade than our district schools, and our town the last year
stood as low as 207, among the 308 towns in the Stale in
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 39
its provision for schools. This year $1600 has been grant-
ed for schools.
We have not furnished a large number of students for
the Colleges. A'few however have sprung up here, that have
pushed their way through College, gained credit to them-
selves and to their native town.
The first one that studied a profession was the Hon.
William Bowdoin, a son of William Bowdoin, Esq. He
did not go to College, but read law with the Hon. Samuel
Fowler Dickinson of Amherst, and for thirty years, has
practised law at South Hadley. The Honorary degree of
A. M. was conferred upon him at Williams College in 1S32.
He has represented this county in the State Senate for
two years— 1840 and 184 1.
Emerson Davis, son of Dea. Enos Davis, was graduated
at Williams* College, 1821. He is now settled as minister
John Dunbar, son of John Dunbar, was graduated at
Williams' College, 1832. He is now a missionary among
the Pawnee Indians.
Isaac Wethrell, son of Thomas Wethrell, graduated at
Amherst College, in 1832. He is now teaching in Ban-
William Paige Davis, son of Benjamin Davis, was grad-
uated at Union College, 1823. He is now settled as min-
ister in Princeton, N. \.
Joshua Pearl, son of John ]M. Pearl, was graduated at
Yale College, 1836. He is now Principal of the Natchez
Institute in Mississippi.
Porter Snow, son of Dea. Eli Snow, was in Amherst
College, in the class graduated in 1837, left before grad-
uating, and is now a minister in Baltimore, Md.
Loranus Crowell, son of Joshua Crowell, graduated at
the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Ct., in 1840, is a
Methodist minister, now stationed in Cabotville.
Thomas Snell Norton, son of Allen Norton, was grad-
uated at Amherst College, 1840. He is now settled as
minister in Sullivan, N. H.
William Snell, son of Thomas Snell, at Amherst, 1840.
Ebenezer Snell his brother, was in the same class, but
died just before he completed the course.
Loring B. Marsh, son of Foster Marsh, at Yale College,
in 1840, now a Home Missionary in Iowa.
Samuel H. Allen, son of Chester Allen, was graduated
at Amherst, 1841, now minister at Windsor Locks, Ct.
40 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
Aaron Walker, son of Aaron Walker, at Amherst.
1841.. He is now a teacher in Charlestown.
David Gould Sherman, son of Thomas Sherman, grad-
uated at Yale College, 1S4J. Teacher in Natchez Insti-
Daniel Lyman Shearer, son of John Shearer, graduated
at Yale College, 1S42, now in business in Boston.
John Hartwell, son of Joseph Ilartwell, at Amherst,
1843, now a physician in Boston.
Samuel Dexter Marsh, son of Foster Marsh, at Yale
College, 1844, — expects soon to join the South African
Charles Demond, son of Alpheus Demond, Esq., at Wil-
liams College, 1844. He is now reading law.
These are not all natives of the town, but went from here
At the present time I am not aware that we have a single
student in any of the colleges.
No roads appear to have been laid out previous to the in-
corporation of the town. The inhabitants made use of such
as nature had provided, with very small improvements. It
appears that the road from Brookfield to Hadley pas?ed
through this town. It passed over the summit of Coy's hill,
(a high ridge between this town and Brookfield and Warren,)
down by the Coneys, and crossed the river at the old bridge
place, nearly a mile above the village, passing down the
west side of the pond near the village, crossing Muddy
Brook at the present bridge between the parishes, then by
the old Downing place, on Dr. Goodrich's land, and nearly
by the present road to the Swift River bridge, near Samuel
Lemmon's. This was probably used in 1660, when the
first settlements were made at Brookfield.
The first bridge across the river in the village was nearly
opposite the large stone factory. Tinjbers were laid across
the rocks near the new grist mill for foot passengers, but no
permanent bridge was erected there until after the factories
were built. At that time, the only road to Brookfield was
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 41
over the Coney hill. It cost twenty dollars per ton for trans-
portation of goods from Boston, and it was a hard week's
work, for a lefiin to go and return.
The road from Swift River to New Braintree was the
important road, passing through the centre of the town and
over the hill, by the old Durant place, crossing Muddy
Brook, at the bridge now used between the parishes, and
passing north of Capt. Hartvvell's farm. A considerable
portion of it has been discontinued.
When stages first passed through Ware from Brookfield
to Northampton, they passed along the southern border of
the town, crossing the river near Gideon Lamberton's. It
was upon this road Dr. Dwight passed through a corner of
the town in 1810, when he wrote the following notice:
" Ware borders on Belchertown south-eastward. Its soil
is generally of a very inferior quality. A traveller formerly
passing through this town observed, that he thought the
land was like self-righteousness; for the more he had of it,
the poorer he would be."
The first Post-Office was established in 1815, at the
house now occupied by Samuel M. Lemmon. Timothy
Babcock was appointed Post-master. In 1824, the office
was removed to the Village, and Joseph Cummings appoint-
ed. He was succeeded by Joel Rice in 1832. In 1840,
Lewis Babcock was appointed. He was succeeded by An-
sel Phelps, Jr. in 1843. The present incumbent, Addison
Sandford was appointed in 1845.
The gross receipts of the office for the first quarter after
it was established in the village in 1824, were $44,41. The
receipts for the quarter ending March 31, 1847, were
THE POPULATION OF THE TOWN AT DIFFERENT
In 1790 .
" 1800 .
" 1810 .
" 1820 .
The last census was taken at a period of great depression
in manufactures, — when most of the mills were still. The
population is supposed now to be 3000.
4S HISTOEICAL ADDRESS,
The excellent water power in this town caused it to be
settled earlier perhaps, than the quality of the soil would
have done. The Ware River originates in the western part
of Worcester County, draining most of the country west of
the Wachusett, and is supplied partly frou) ponds, which,
with the great extent of open country drained by it, gives it
a character of stability not gained by mountain streams.*
It enters Ware at the north-east corner, and goes out near
the South-west, keeping near the Eastern and Southern
boundary. It receives three considerable tributaries here,
which traverse the town from Hardvvick and Enfield on the
north. Flat Brook, very near the middle of the town. Muddy
Brook, on the East, and Beaver Brook on the West, divide
the town into four nearly equal parts.
The falls at the village afford a fine power, the river fall-
ing more than seventy feet in less than that number of rods.
On these falls mills were erected by Capt. Jabez Olmstead
probably as early as 1730, or soon after. His heirs sold
the property to Isaac IVIagoon; from him it passed to his
son Alexander in 1765. At this time a grist mill and saw mill
stood here which were extensively known as Magoon's mills.
In April 1813, the mills with about 400 acres of the
Olmstead tract, covering the whole territory of the village
and West to Muddy Brook, was sold by James Magoon,
a grandson of Alexander, to Alpheus Demond, Esq., and
Col. Thomas Denny for $4,500. Mr. Demond came here
the same year, rebuilt the dam now standing on the middle
falls, repaired the saw mill and grist mill, and started two
carding machines. The house now occupied by John Gil-
more and the store of J. Hartwell were built the same year.
In 1814, he built the old tavern house, the old yellow
* The Indian name of the River, " Nenameseck," probably means
a Fishing Basket, or a place where fish were taken in Baskets, being
compoundedof " Namohs," a fish, and " Manseck," a basket. The
Falls were a great resort for fishing, by the Indians, — who used bas-
kets or traps in taking salmon, which formerly abounded here, and
have been taken by some of the present generation. Indian names
are usually significant. The " Connecticut," is the Long River, — the
" Housatonic," the river over, or beyond the Mountain."
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 43
barn which then stood near where the Post Office now is,
and the old cotton mill, still standing. He also commenced
building machinery. Col. Denny died at Leicester, in Dec.
IS 14. The same month the treaty of peace was signed at
Ghent. These two events threw a dark cloud over the
prospects for manufacturing here, as the latter did through
the country. At that time no factories existed in this part
of the state, except a small one at Worcester and one at
Monson. The power loom was not then known, and the
design was to make yarn to be put out to be wove in the
The factory stood still till April 1821, when the property
was sold to Holbrook and Dexter, of Boston, including mill,
machinery, and land, for about $15,000, at a loss to the for-
mer owners of about Si 2,000. These gentlemen soon form-
ed a company of Boston capitalists, including the Dexters and
Amorys, the Greens and Tappans, and went on to complete
the mill. In 1S23, the brick store and the woolen mill, about
half its present size, were built. In 1824 the large mill was
built to take the water from the upper fall. This was 27 I feet
long, and but one story high above the basement, with an at-
tic. To prepare the foundation, canal, wheel-pits and race-
ways, was an expensive undertaking, much of it being rock
excavation. The plans were on a large scale, but proved
ill-judged. The capital of the Wave Co. was $600,000,
incorporated in 1S23. It never made a dividend.
In IS29, the property was transferred to the Hampshire
Mfg. Co. at a nominal value of $300,000. To this $100-
000 was afterwards added. In the general wreck in 1837,
the Hampshire Co. failed; an actual dividend never having
been made to the stockholders either from the earnings or
In Aug. 1839, the cotton mills passed into the hands of
the Otis Co. In June 1845, the long mill, built in 1824,
was destroyed by fire. The Otis Co. had already com-
menced the erection of a stone mill 200 feet long, five sto-
ries high, and immediately rebuilt one upon the site of the
one burned, of the same dimensions of the stone mill.
These are now nearly in full operation, which with the old
cotton mill and the small one near it, have GOO looms, with
nearly 20,000 spindles, and will consume about 1,000,000
lbs. of cotton annually', and give employment to about 650
hands. The Otis Co. has shared fully in the success that
has attended manufacturers for the few past years. Its cap-
44 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
ital is $350,000. The mills erected during the last two
years, one of brick, the other of dark granile, are not ex-
ceeded in beauty or convenience of arrangements.
In 1841, Messrs. Gilbert & Stevens came from Andover
and purchased of the assignees of the Hampshire Co., the
woolen mill and other property on the South side of the
river. This mill had been enlarged to its present size by
the Hampshire Co., and furnished by them with seven sets
of new machinery in 1836. The mill was still most of the
time after 1837, till Oct. 1841, when it was started by the
present proprietors. In the summer of 1846, they erected
a new stone mill, five stories high 80 feet by 50, with four
sets of machinery on a fall below what had before been oc-
cupied. Their mills will consume about 300,000 pounds of
Wool annually, and employ about 200 hands. The enter-
prise and skill of these gentlemen well deserve the success
which has attended ihetn.
The Hampshire Manufacturers' Bank was incorporated in
1825, with a capital of $100,000. In 1836 its capital was
increased to $150,000.
The great change which the habits] of the people have
undergone within a few years on this subject, seems to jus-
tify a particular notice, confining "myself pretty closely to
May 9, 1768. " Voted to raise two pounds to pro-
vide Rumb for the raising the Bridge over Ware river."
March 1784, " Voted to pay James Lemmon for six jour-
neys to Belchertown and two quarts of Rum, thirteen shil-
lings and six pence."
In 1787,] (Shays' War times), a grievous difficulty arose
with the Rev. Mr. Judd, the minister. The vote for dis-
missing him was 63 to 13. The matter was referred to an
ecclesiastical council, and the town voted to join with the
church in paying the cost. " Voted Aug. 27th to allow Wil-
liam Paige for sundry articles, viz., ninepence a meal for
169 meals; two pence a lodging for 85 lodgings; for keep-
ing 61 horses twenty-four hours, four pence per horse."
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 45
" Voted to allow three shillings and sixpence per gallon
for four gallons of rum."
Again, Oct. 22, " Voted to allow William Paige for
keeping the Ecclesiastical Council, which is as follows, viz.,
seven pence per meal 212 meals, two pence a lodging 68
lodgings, four pence for keeping a horse 24 hours 76 horses,
four gallons and a half of new rum, three shillings per gallon,
two gallons of old rum, five shillings per gallon." This
seems to have been the second council when they drank bet-
ter rum and more of it.
" Nov. 2, 1801. Voted that the selectmen give a gen-
eral invitation to all the inhabitants of the town of Ware,
to work on the road one or more days, leading from Swift
River to the line of New Braintree/ree gratis, said select-
men to find them what spirits they shall think necessary."
These records will seem more strange to future genera-
lions, we hope, than they do to us. We are yet in a tran-
sition state, and can look back to strange times.
At the time the factory operations commenced here, in
1823, 1824, and 1825, the use of intoxicating drinks had
reached a point probably never known before or since. Then
all used them with scarce an exception. The labourers in
the shops, on the buildings, at the dam and canal had eve-
ry man his bottle. It was nothing uncommon to draw a
hogshead of rum, and sometimes two, daily, at the factory
Store; not all for our inhabitants, for large quantities went
north in exchange for lumber and other materials brought in.
In 1826, the temperance reform began, and was early en-
gaged in by the ministers, agents and principal men of the
place. In 1833, the election of representatives turned up-
on this question, and though the candidates of the tempe-
rance men were defeated, they proposed and carried the fol-
" Nov. 11th, 1833. ]\[oved that we instruct our Repre-
sentatives to use their influence to obtain a revision of the
License Laws in such a manner as to promote the great
moral reform now going on through the agency of temper-
1. Resolved that our Representatives use their influence
for such a modification of the License Laws, as shall make
it penal for any one to sell ardent spirits to the town inhabi-
tants on the sabbath.
2. That they use their influence for the alteration of said
License Laws in such a manner as to keep pace with public
46 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
opinion in relation to the retailing of ardent spirits, and that
when a majority of the Inhabitants of any town in tiiis corn-
raonwealih shall vote in legal town meeting that no retailer
in said town is necessary, oilier than for medical purposes,
such vote to be a bar to such license within said town."
<■' Mar. 2, 1835, Resolved: —
1. As the sense of this meeting, that no retailer of ar-
dent spirits is necessary in this town the present year, and
ought not to be licensed; carried 157 to 40.
2. Resolved, that the sense of this meeting be obtained
whether Inn-holders to sell ardent spirits in this town are
necessary, if so, how many.
Voted that it is inexpedient to have any Inn-holders to
sell ardent spirits in this town the present year."
" March, 1S36. Voied that the selectmen be instructed
not to approbate any person to retail any spirits or intoxi-
cating liquors the present year." Since which time with the
exception of one single year, no one has received an appro-
bation from the selectmen to sell intoxicating drinks in this
THE FIRST SETTLERS.
Some brief notices of the early settlers, will close what
I propose to offer, and these must necessarily be imperfect.
I have not the advantage of being a native of the town, nor
of a long residence, but have availed myself of such means
as were within my reach. The evidence of living witnes-
ses, the records of the town and church, ancient deeds and
papers, and the tomb-stones of the dead, have furnished
the materials from which I have gleaned.
Capt. Jabez Olmstead is supposed to have come from
Brookfield, and to have made the first permanent settlement
here in 1729. Of his former history, I can learn but little.
He must have been a man of property, as he paid £400
for the tract he purchased here, as appears by the deed.
He is described as '' of Brookfield, in the county of Hamp-
shire." When that town was incorporated, in 1718, it was
" agreed the said town to lye to the county of Hampshire,"
where it continued to belong, till Worcester county was es-
tablished, in 1731. Tradition represents Capt. Olmstead
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 47
to have been a man of great shrewdness and energy, and
that Indian blood ran in his veins. He was a mighty hun-
ter, and is said to have been an officer in the expedition
against Louishourg, upon the island of Cape Breton, in
1745. The following anecdote is related of him. On the
return of the army to Boston from Louisbourg, he was in-
vited with the officers to dine with Gov. Shirley. The pud-
ding he found to be too hot; and taking it fron) his mouth,
and laying it upon the side of his plate, he said he would
keep it to light his pipe with.
He had two sons, Jsrael and Jeremiah. To the oldest,
100 acres of the Elbow tract was granted, adjoining his farm.
Tliey both married and had children, of whom 1 have no
further knowledge. He had one daughter, Hannah, who
married Judah Marsh. He does not appear to have taken
a very active part in town affairs.
John Post, the first Precinct clerk, was a relative of 01m-
stead, and lived upon the farm now owned by Joseph Hart-
well, which was part of Olrnstead's purchase. His wife's
death is recorded here March 20, 1745.
Isaac Magoon came from Ireland with the colony that
settled in Palmer in 1727. The farm allotted to him by the
commiitee of the Legislaturt^, was at the South East cor-
ner of the Read Manor. He built where Haskell Cum-
mings now lives. Isaac Jr. lived where Josephus Laiuber-
ton now lives. They owned a large tract, about 700 acres
in the strip of land between the south Hue of the manor and
the south line of the town. Isaac Magoon Jr. afterwards
bought of Capt. Olrnstead's heirs, the mills and the tract of
land m the village, about 600 acres. He had two sons,
Alexander, who lived at the mills, and Isaac, who lived
where Haskell Cummings now lives. Isaac married Lu-
creiia, daughter of John Downing, and had thirteen chil-
dren. One son, Dr. Isaac Magoon, is now living in Mich-
igan. One daughter, Mrs. Eliphalet Marsh is now living
here. Allen Grover's first wife was another daughter. Al-
exander had two sons, Isaac, who died on the Red River,
Sept. 1808, and Alexander, who died in Salem, N. York.
Isaac's son James married JMehitabel Ellis, a daughter of
Ebenezer Gould, in 1810, and is now living in Illinois.
Isaac lives in Bloomington, Iowa. Mrs. Marsh and her chil-
dren, Chester and Diadaina, are the only descendants left in
town, of a family as numerous as any other here probably, one
hundred years ago, and possessing about 1,400 acres of the
best land in the town.
48 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
Jacob Cummings came from Killingly, Ct. soon after the
first settlements were made, and was tlie most prominent
man in the Precinct and town for many years. He was
one of the first deacons in the church, acted as moderator
of the first meeting of the Parish, was one of the Precinct
Corntnitiee, and when the town was incorporated in 1762,
one of the first board of selectmen, and town treasurer.
He bought, probably of Stewart Southgate, the farm now
owned by Joel Rice, Esq., and the one owned by his great-
grand-son, the Hon. Joseph Cummings. He had five sons,
Jacob, Benjamin, Abraham, Isaac and Solomon. Jacob
had no sons that lived to have a family. Abraham's daugh-
ter Hannah married Thomas McClintock, the father of
Benjamin and Levans Mc Clintock. Jerusha, another daugh-
ter, married Thomas Bacon, in 1780.
Benjamin had three sons, Daniel, Simeon and Joseph.
Daniel died young. Simeon had two sons, Simeon and
Nichols, the latter went into the State of N. York. Sime-
on had four sons and one daughter, now living here, Lewis
G., William, Simeon and Nichols, and the wife of Dfjniel
Joseph married Temperance Nye in 1775, had seven
sons and four daughters. One son died young. Benjamin
now hves in North Brookfield. Simeon died in this town.
Hon. Joseph and Haskell now live here, Braddish in Illi-
nois, and Estes in New Haven. Jacob Cummings died
Feb. 27, 1776, aged S3. His posterity of the sixth gene-
ration are present with us to-day, inheriting the possessions
with the blessing of a pious ancestor. Benjamin his son,
died Dec. 14, 1805, aged 87. Joseph, son of Benjamin,
died June 30, 1826, aged 73; his widow is still living, near-
ly 90 years of age.
John Davis came as is supposed, from Oxford, before
1750, and settled where Samuel M. Lemmon now lives.
He was chosen deacon when the church was formed in
1751, and was one of the first board of Selectmen. He
had four sons; Nathan, David, Josiah and Abijah. Nathan
married a daughter of Jonathan Rogers, who kept a tav-
ern where Robert Tucker now lives. He had sons, Na-
than, Elihu, Enos the deacon, Pliny, Rodney who lives in
Belchertown, and Leonard, who lives in Palmer.
Enos married Submit Bush, daughter of Solomon Bush,
in 1797, and had sons, Rev. Emerson Davis of Westfield,
and Solomon B., now living here.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 49
William Brakenridge, who was the prominent man here
for more than thirty years, one of the first board of Se-
lectmen, and the first re()resentative to the Provincial Con-
gress, and town clerk for eighteen years, came to this coun-
try frofn Ireland, in 1727, when four years of age, with his
father James, a native of Scotland, who was one of the
first settlers of the Elbow tract. There is, in the Braken-
ridge family an ancient manuscript music-book upon the fly-
leaf of which is written, " JMr. Jacobus Breakenridge,
His Music Book, made and taught per me, Robt. Cairnes,
at Glenreavoll, Sept. 1715." Besides the scale and rudi-
ments of music, it contains the date of his marriage, 1720,
and the births of his children, giving the day, the hour, and
the time in the moon, with other memoranda. On one page
is written, " JVe departed from Ireland, July \6, 1727, and
my child died on the 19lh of Jlug.'''' Another son was
born in Nov. following, to whom the same name was
given. His sons were James, who settled in Ware, after-
wards removed to Bennington Vt., and went as minister to
England, William, born Sept. 19, 1723, who settled in
Ware in 1746, Francis and George who remained in Pal-
William married Agnes Sinclair, who came with her pa-
rents in the same vessel with him from Ireland, and had four
sons, William, James, George and Francis. He took up
about 1,000 acres of land on the north part of the Elbow
grant, built a house in the centre, where the widow Francis
Brakenridge now lives, and planted his four sons around him.
His education was imperfect, but his native good sense, and
sound judgment gave him a leading influence in the town.
William married Thankful, a daugliter of Judah Marsh;
had two sons, W illiam Sinclair, who is dead, and Judah
Marsh, now living, where his faiher did.
James married a daughter of William Coney, and had
four sons; James, who is dead, Allender, now living, Reu-
ben Moss, who is dead, and William, living where his father
George married Persis Joslyn of New Braintree, and had
six sons. Benjamin and Franklin now live in this town.
Francis married Lydia Pepper, and had one son, Francis,
who is dead.
William Brakenridge died Feb. 16, 1807, aged 84. His
grandsons inherit the lands and the stable virtues of their an-
50 mSTORICAL ADDRESS.
Judah Marsh came from Hatfield or Hadley, in 1730,
and settled near the mills built by him, and now known as
Marsh's ^lills. Thomas, Ephraim, Samuel and Joseph,
who were here in 1742, were probably his brothers. He
married a daughter of Capt. Jabez Olmstead, and had sons,
Elij-HJ), Joel, Thomas, Jonathan, Judah and a second Joel.
Thomas had four sons, none of whom are here. Jona-
than had four sons. Jacob and Foster are now living here.
Judah had five sons. Aaron and James Sullivan are now
living here. Joel's son Joel S. is now living in Hardwick.
Judah Marsh died May 7, lS01,aged 89. His posterity
dwell upon ihe land upon which he settled in 1730.
Samuel Sherman, one of the first board of selectmen,
came from Rochester, and settled at first upon the farm
now owned by William E. Bassett; he afterwards lived
south of Benjamin Bond's. He married for a second wife,
Jerusha Davis, by whom he inherited the farm now owned
by Calvin Morse. He had by his first wife two sons,
Thomas and Prince; and by his second, Reuben, Samuel
and Ebenezer. Reuben is dead, has two sons, Thomas and
Earl, living here.
Ebenezer died in Ohio; has two daughters living here,
the wives of Downing Gould and Edward Pope.
Samuel Sherman died Feb. 5, 1811, aged 88.
Deacon Thomas Jenkins lived where Seth Pierce now
lives. He was a deacon indeed it seems; for the mild and
serious rebuke he gave to the son of a neighbor who in-
cautiously said " Ivow^\ in his presence, was never forgot-
ten. He was one of the delegates to the Provincial Con-
gress with Capt. Brakenridge. He has no descendants here.
Deacon Maverick Sn)ith lived where Dauphin Harwood
now lives. He has no descendants here.
Joseph Foster lived between the village and Joseph
Cunmiings'. He had a family of eight children, and was
a man of character and influence, was one of the first dele-
gates to the Provincial Congress, in 1775. I cannot learn
whence he canrye, or whither he went, as no descendants
of his live here.
Samuel Dunsmore was a native of Ireland, and settled
where Rufus Eaton now lives. His daughter Miriam mar-
ried .lames Lamberton, and was the niother of Samuel D.
Lamberton of Brookfield, and of Rufus Thrasher's wife.
James Leu)mon came from Ireland, when four years of age,
and settled on the farm now owned by his grandson Samuel
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 51
Lemmon, in the Sonth-West part of the town. His moth-
er was a sister of James Brakenridge, vAho settled in Pal-
mer. His son James lived uhere ^liriain Lemmon dees.
He was the only Irishman, it seems, tliat settled upon the
manor. They usually sought the low meadow lands.
John Downing came from Springfield, bought of Timo-
thy Brown in 1752, and kept a tavern on the old road, west
of Muddy brook, on land now owned by Dr. Goodrich.
He had one son who was drowned June 10, 1771, while
attempting to rescue Reuben Davis, who was also drown-
ed. One daughter married Isaac Magoon, another David
Deacon Daniel Gould came from Sharon in 1773, and
settled where his son Aaron now lives. He was the first
representative elected under the Constitution, and had much
to do with town business. He had sons, Daniel, Lewis,
Aaron and Seth; the last two are living here. He died
July 10, 1834.
David and Ehenezer his brothers, came soon after. Da-
vid married Lovisa, daughter of John Downing, in 1780,
and lived near where Benjamin Eaton now lives. He has
sons, Sainuel, John and Downing, living here, and daugh-
ters, the wives of Thomas Sherman, Joel Rice and Wil-
liam S. Brakenridge. He died August 22, 1817, aged 67.
Ebenezer Gould, married Mille, daughter of AV'illiam
Coney, in 1782, and had sons, Leonard, who is dead, and
Ebenezer who lives where his fathpr did.
Deacon William Paige came from Hardwick in 1777,
and lived where Samuel Holbrook now lives, formerly oc-
cupied by Rev. Ezra Thayer. He had a son W^illiam,
who died without issue, and eight daughters. One married
Dr. Rufus King; one Benjamin Cummings; one Simeon
Cummings; and one Azel Washburn. He died June 23d,
Phille Morse came from Sharon soon after the town
was incorporated. He married a daughter of W^illiam Co-
ney, and lived upon the farm now owned by his son Cal-
vin. Another son, Braddish, died young. A daughter
married Prince Andrews; one, Calvin Ward, now in Illi-
nois; and the youngest, David Lewis, and is not living.
William Coney came from Sharon during the Revolution,
and built his habitation among the rocks, where his sons
William and Daniel now live. It was then in Brookfield;
being colliers, they seem to have sought the wood rather than
the land. His son, Capt. Oliver Coney, came earlier, and
52 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
owned the farm where the widow of George Brakenridge
now lives. He died Dec. 13, 1830, aged 81.
John Tisdale came from Taunton in 1775, and settled
at first in Greenwich, South Parish, now Enfield. He
came into Ware, A|)ril 19, 1779, at which time, it is said,
the apple trees were in full bloom, an indication of an earlier
season than this. His son John Jr., was the father of Tim-
othy, Thomas, Israel and James W., now living here. His
oldest son was named John Read, after the lord of the
Jeremiah Anderson was a native of Ireland, and came
here soon after the Precinct was established, lived where
Ebenezer Barlow now lives, in the N. E. corner of the
town, and had a large family of eleven children. His son
William was born Aug. 18, 1749, and lived near the cen-
tre of the town.
William's son Amasa was horn November 6, 1776, and
married Thankful Brakenridge in 1802. Nathaniel^ was
born June 15, 1783, and married Salome Snell, in IS 1 3,
both of whom have children living here. Samuel D. was
another son, who inherited Samuel Dunsmore's faru) for his
Thomas Andrews was here quite early. John, Aaron
and Prince were his sons, and have descendants here.
Aaron married Betsey, daughter of Simeon Cummings.
Prince married Clarissa Morse.
James Lamberton was one of the original settlers in Pal-
mer. He came from Ireland, and lived where Charles
Shaw now does. He had sons, John, who was a bachelor,
like his uncle John before him, James, Seth and David.
James married a daughter of Samuel Dunsmore for his first
wife, and lived on the farm now occupied by Baxter Gil-
bert. He afterwards lived where Alfred and Gideon do,
who are his sons by a second wife.
Seth married Elizabeth Eddy of Brookfield, and lived
where his son .Tosephus does.
Dr. Edward Demond came here from Reading, and was,
probably, the first physician here. The record of the births
of his children begins in 1735, but some of them were prob-
ably born before he came to this town. He lived where
John Wetherell does, and had sons, Edward Thomas,
Abraham and Stephen, and five daughters. A daughter mar-
ried Elijah, son of Judah Marsh, in 1759. Edward Dem-
ond is son of Thomas, and is now living here.
HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 53
Dr. Elias Bollon came from Mendon about 1780. Af-
ter hitn was Dr. Walker who came from Windham, Scot-
land Society Ct. He lived near the old Durant place, and
remained here about six years.
Dr. Rufus King came from Brookfield in 1789, and is
still living, 80 years of age.
William Bowdoin Esq. came here in infancy, about 1762.
He is supposed to have been a natural son of a broth-
er of Gov. Bowdoin, whose name he bore. He was
raised in the family of Solomon Bush, near Marsh's
mills, received his education in the common schools, and
having a taste for reading, and a tact for business, be ac-
quired a character and induence no other man ever gained
in this town. He was chosen town clerk in 1789, and held
the office for twenty-two years in succession. He was
again elected in 1830, and held the office until bis death,
Sept. 23, 1831. He represented the town eleven years in
the Legislature, being the only one chosen frou) 1795 to
1812, and was a delegate to the Convention for revising the
Constitution, in 1820. In 1801, he was elected a Justice
of the Peace, and did most of the business of that nature,
in this town, for nearly thirty years. He wrote a very plain,
legible hand, and the perfect state of the town records is
owing, very much to his care. He transcribed the records
of the births, deaths and marriages, by vote of the town, io
1 789, which are very complete of some of the earlier families.
He was twice married, and had fourteen children. His son,
Hon. William Bowdoin of South Hadley, has been a mem-
ber of the Senatefrom this County; James has been a
Representative from New Braintree; John from this town;
and Waller H. from Springfield.
To recur for a moment to the occasion tbat has brought
us together. While we rejoice in the erection of this build-
ing as an ornament and convenience, let us do it with a prop-
er consideration to the rights and privileges of those whose
convenience will not be promoted by the change in the place
of holding our town meetings. Probably two-thirds of the
inhabitants in town, reside within a mile of this hall. We
are bringing matters back to their former slate, as we have
learned the first meetings were held in the " Great House "
in this part of the town.
This town has always been marked by a more than ordi-
nary degree of barmony and stability in its public affairs.
54 HISTORICAL ADDRESS.
In order to maintain this character, we must be willing to
concede to all their rights. Because a prosperous business
has given to this village the power and influence, to some
extent, I trust we shall never seem disposed to take the Li-
on's share. To dwell in peace, tliere must be mutual con-
cession. Sectional jealousies must be suppressed. The
schools, the roads and the poor require our care, as a town.
Let us be liberal in providing for them.
The manufacturing establishmenis may, in some cases,
increase the expenses of the town, but they pay too, a laige
pro[)ortion of the taxes. They furnish a home market for
our surplus produce. They pay for labor, about $175,000
annually, which finds its way to the merchants, the mechan-
ics and the farmers. We have known how things looked
when the wheels did not move. The present success of
manufacturers here should not excite our jealousy. We
have learned that $700,000 have been planted here by other
hands, which, wiih all the care and toil of nearly fifteen
years, have yielded no fruit but disappointment. It was not
the fault of the place, nor altogether in the management.
The experiment began early here. We have passed through
deep waters, and through fire, and are looking better now
I believe it to be the duty, as it is the right of all, to
attend town meetings. We al! have an interest in the busi-
ness of the town. But if any will stay away, and dislike
what is done by ihose who go, they should hold their peace.
May we discharge our duiies, mindful that ihey may be
reviewed by future generations, as we have looked back to-
day, and remecnhering our accountabiliiy to Him " who
keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him, and
keep his commandments, to a thousand generations."
TOWN CLERKS OF WARE.
John Post, chosen
William Paige, chosen 1787.
Jacob Cummings, "
John Davis, "
Leonard Gould, '
Thnothy Brown, "
Jacob Cummings, "
Leonard Gould, '
WilHam Brakenridge, "
Joel Rice, '
Maverick Smith, "
William Snow, '
William Brakenridge, "
William Bowdoin, '
Abraham Cummings, "
Leonard Gould, '
David Brown, "
George W. Porter, '
Thomas Tufts, "
.Jason Gorham, '
David Brown, "
Lewis Demond, '
REPRESENTATIVES FROM WARE.
In the years not named, the town was not represented.
JOSEPH FOSTER, and > to Provincial Congress 1775.
Under the Constitution.
William Paige Jr.,
William Paige Jr.,
Aaron Gould, )
Samuel Phelps, ^
Aaron Gould, )
Joel Rice, ^
Alphens Demond, )
Enos Davis, ^
("alvin Morse, >
Benjamin Wilder. ^
Thomas Wilder, )
John Osborne Jr , \
1 homas Wilder, )
Reuben Lazell, J
Edmund Freeman, }
Reuben Lazell, J
Thomas Snell, }
Royal Bosworth, J
Thomas Snell, >
Jason (jorham, J
John Bowdoin, >
Nelson Palmer, y
Ansel Phelps Jr.,
Samuel M. Lemmon,
William Bowdoin Esq., was delegate to the Convenliou
for revising the State Constitution, in 1820,
Hon. Joseph Cummings was a member of the State Sen-
ate from Hampshire County, in the years 1831 and 1832.
He has also been County Commissioner for twelve years,
and is now re-elected for another term.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
Feb. 23, 1811.
June 14, 1817.
Jan. 22, 1823.
Feb. 22, 1825.
Feb. 5, 1828.
" 7, "
" 1, 1832,
May 24, "
Feb. 18, 1833.
Aug. 26, 1834.
Jan. 29, 1835.
Mai. 28, "
May 12, 1841.
Aug. 29, 1843.
Dec. 31, 1844.
July 1, 1845.
Apr. 15, 1846.
May 15, "
Dr. Kufus King.
Thunias \. De.xter,
Reuben A . Chapman,
died Sept. 23, 1831.
removed to Boston in 1826.
" Lowell in 1839.
New York in 1834.
Springfield in 1834.
Barlow Freeman, r. Jacksonville. 111. died Sep. 1838.
Francis B. Stebbins,
Dr. Anson Moody, '
Ansel Phelps Jr.,
Samuel T. Spaulding.
Arthur L. Devens.
died Nov. 4, 1839.
Oswego N. Y. died May 1845.
removed to Boston in 1836.
" North Haven, Ct., in 1836.
" Springfield in 1846.
died Nov. 1, 1843.
rem. to Halifax Vt., 1845.
The Hall erected by the town, at the opening of which the forego-
ing address was delivered, is situated nearly opposite the Hotel, at the
corner of Main street and the road leading to Northampton and Spring-
field. The buildmg is sixty feet long by forty-eight wide, two stories
high. The first floor contains a room for a Grammar School, with a
recitation room atiached, and an office for the Selectmn and Assess-
ors. The second story is in one room, for the transaction of town bu-
siness. The basement is occupied as a Market. The cost of the
building and land, with the fixtures and furniture for the Hall and
School-room, is about $4,500. The plan was designed by H. N.
Sykes, Esq. of Springfield, and the building erected by Daniel Col-
ton, of Longmeadow.
The Building Committee were
CHARLES A. STEVENS,